Sector Snap: Shares of retailers slide

Shares of retailers continue to fall on fears of consumer spending slowdown

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of retailers slid further Monday on concerns that American consumers are cutting their spending.

The fears that fueled a downturn in the sector last week increased Monday after Citi Investment Research said that it is lowering its second-quarter earnings estimates for discount retailer Target Inc. Also Monday, luxury retailer Saks Inc. posted disappointing second-quarter results.

Citi analyst Deborah Weinswig lowered her second-quarter earnings estimate on Target to 96 cents per share from $1 per share. In a note to clients, Weinswig said that a rise in the payroll tax is making consumers more cautious about spending. However, she said she is hopeful that the company will benefit from a housing market recovery. Weinswig reiterated her "buy" rating on Target's stock. Target will report its second-quarter results on Wednesday before the market opens.

The slowdown in spending is hitting wealthier consumers too. Saks Inc., the luxury retailer, posted second-quarter results Monday that missed Wall Street analyst's expectations. Saks joins other luxury retailers, including Ralph Lauren Corp. and Coach Inc., in reporting weak sales.

Last week, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kohl's Inc. and Macy's Inc. were among major retailers that cater to low-income to upper-middle-income consumers that cut their outlooks and posted weak results.

Investors will get a better look at how retailers are doing this week. Best Buy Co. Inc., Home Depot Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. will report earnings Tuesday. Target and Lowe's Cos. will report on Wednesday. Sears Holdings Corp. and Gap Inc. will report their earnings on Thursday.

Here's a look at how some retailers' stocks fared in trading Monday:

—Coach fell 5 cents to $51.85.

—J.C. Penney fell 18 cents to $13.22.

—Kohl's Corp. fell 71 cents to $51.56.

—Macy's fell 4 cents to $44.95.

—Ralph Lauren fell $1.85 to $170.23.

—Saks fell 5 cents to $15.97.

—Target rose 9 cents to $68.24.

—Wal-Mart fell 53 cents to $73.58.

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