By and  on June 16, 2009

Retail shares fell into a funk Monday, dropping 1.4 percent after Goldman Sachs & Co. cut Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to “neutral” from “buy” and said there were few “positive catalysts” to drive the stock higher.

And although it might be too soon to count out the rally that’s pushed the sector up 46.7 percent since March 6, there is still little sign of a lasting economic turnaround to support further gains. The stress on retailers is clear, from their belt tightening and deteriorating bottom lines to their efforts to refinance. Limited Brands Inc. said Monday it would try to raise $500 million by selling debt that rating agencies classify as noninvestment grade, or junk.

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