Stocks of specialty retailers that were buoyed by the better-than-expected same-store sales performance of L Brands Inc., The Buckle, Gap Inc. and Cato Corp. lost some of Thursday’s gain in midday trading amid larger declines due to economic concerns about Greece and a strong jobs report that may trigger an unkind-to-investors interest rate hike.
Shares of Buckle were down 0.1 percent o $46.39 after the specialty retailer’s stock rose 5.5 percent on Thursday. L Brands was off 0.8 percent to $86.44 after closing yesterday up 1.2 percent. Cato Corp. is up 1 percent to $38.01 after closing with a similar gain yesterday. Gap was off 0.3 percent to $37.87 after gaining 0.8 percent yesterday. Major indices were off between 0.2 and 0.3 percent at midday.
And after reporting first-quarter results that included a softer sales and earnings outlook, shares of specialty retailer Zumiez Inc. were down over 19 percent to $24 in midday trading, which follows a 9 percent decline in after-market trading yesterday.
Telsey Advisory Group noted in a research report this morning that overall, “trends in the month of May came in better than expected, albeit against moderate expectations. Given that May is the first month of the second quarter and June is the largest month of the period, we do not expect to see earnings adjusted based on May sales results.”
By region, RetailNext said in its Retail Performance Report today that traffic was down across the U.S. as “volatility in weather patterns” impacted sales. Hardest hit was the Northeast with store traffic down 14.1 percent and sales falling 10.1 percent. Traffic and sales in the South fell 9.4 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively, while the Midwest experienced a 5.8 percent traffic decline amid 7.5 percent drop in sales. The West, traffic was down 7.8 percent with sales falling 2.7 percent.