Retailers Hammered by Profit Concerns: Target Down 10%, Kohl's 8%

A retail sector rout is adding to tech misery. Target, Kohl's, and Lowe's lead the action to the downside.

The S&P 500 fell into negative territory for the year as Retail Warnings added to the misery of a tech bust in progress.

  • Target Corp shares (TGT.N) slumped 10.28 percent after the retailer’s third-quarter profit missed analysts’ estimates as investments in its online business, higher wages and price cuts hurt margins.
  • Department store operator Kohl’s Corp (KSS.N) shed 9.42 percent after its full-year profit forecast fell below expectations.
  • Home improvement chain Lowe’s Cos Inc (LOW.N) fell 4.76 percent after it unveiled further plans of restructuring in the face of worse-than-expected comparable sales numbers.
  • TJX Cos Inc (TJX.N) slipped 3.4 percent after the off-price retailer’s holiday-quarter earnings forecast fell largely below estimates.
  • Ross Stores (ROST.O) fell 6.94 percent as its fourth-quarter forecast for same-store sales came below analysts’ expectations.

Tech Rout

Stocks Negative for the Year

This is not even a down payment on what's coming.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (23)
No. 1-10
Schaap60
Schaap60

You made the point on Coast to Coast that the market may trend down for years rather than crash in the traditional sense. I can't help but think people dependent on money in the market for retirement will lose their nerve and it will gap down at some point. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Ted R
Ted R

People who are retired will have to learn to make it on reasonably priced stocks or on safe bonds, no matter how low the yield is.

Ted R
Ted R

One more point. If this is the beginning of a deflationary trend than expect this economy to last a few generations.

Mike Mish Shedlock
Mike Mish Shedlock

Editor

Good comment by Schaap60 - Under my scenario a gap down would be over a week or so at the end. That could of course happen several times. By that I mean a sudden drop of 15% followed by a 10% rally that eventually gives it all back then plunges another 15% .... etc for years. Every rally sold until the final plunge. Just a guess

Bam_Man
Bam_Man

People that are paying 110% of their take home pay on housing and "health insurance" have no discretionary purchasing power. I am shocked. Shocked, I tells ya!

Carl_R
Carl_R

We still haven't seen one important demographic effect. Normally as a demographic group ages, they get into their fifties, and stop spending, which leads to an economic down period (i.e. recession/depression). Baby boomers continue to spend, even though they are in their 60s, so the economy has never collapsed. Meanwhile, the Millennials peaked about 1991, and are now in their late 20s and approaching the years when they get married and become subject to enforced spending.

Can the baby boomers support the economy for the next few years, until the Millennials take over? I have my doubts. The stock market has priced in continued rapid growth and low interest rates, and I don't see that happening. Any of the following can take us into a long bear market (and bear markets don't end until people stop "buying the dip"):

  1. Baby boomers finally slow their spending as they retire
  2. Millennials continue to get married and start families later and later
  3. The tariffs do what tariffs historically do, lead to a recession/depression
  4. The debt/GDP ratio goes high enough that government bonds start carrying a default risk, leading to higher interest rates, and even larger deficits
  5. Economic growth rate drops back to a more modest 1-2%, and interest rates rise back to historical norms, meaning a major drop in PE ratios

Will one of these happen? Will all of them happen a little? I don't know, but I'm with Mish in thinking that the overall market returns over the next 5 years or so will be negative.

Brother
Brother

This year we have the October slide it doesn't happen every year unless you are in Pork Belly's.

Snow_Dog
Snow_Dog

“This is not even a down payment on what's coming.”

Over $800B lost from just FAANG stocks alone!

everything
everything

Credit cards are maxing up, not mine, but my discretionary has suffered as well, I'm not even so sure about this $69/month internet bill anymore.

gregggg
gregggg

I wonder what the retirement fund management groups are doing now to contend with their TINA decisions? 50%+ portfolios invested in equities. How's that workin' out fer-ya?