Investors looking for chances to “buy on the dip” will have another opportunity today.
Despite gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq last Friday, U.S. equities are poised for a day of volatility and profit-taking as crude oil, which is now correlated to stocks, dropped this morning. But also of concern is a slowing of global infrastructure investments, which Goldman Sachs analysts described this morning are in “the early stage of an extended commodity deflation cycle.” This follows the U.S. Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index report last week that showed deflationary price trends at retail.
At the bell, the Dow fell 63 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,024 while the S&P 500 dropped 0.5 percent to 1,897 and the Nasdaq shed 0.4 percent to 4,572.
Earlier in the day, major indices in Asia all closed up while Europe struggled to show gains. The Asia Dow jumped 1.2 percent to 2,485 while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.9 percent to 17,111 and the Hang Seng climbed 1.4 percent to 19,340. The Shanghai Index in China showed a 0.8 percent gain to 2,939 – just short of the psychologically important 3,000 mark.
In the U.S. retail segment, the S&P Retailing Industry Group Index gained 0.4 percent to 1,188 at the opening bell. The leading gainers in the retail, fashion apparel, beauty and consumer Internet segments included Amazon.com Inc., up 1.4 percent to $604.52; Destination XL Group Inc. with a 1.6 percent gain to $4.56; J. C. Penney & Co. Inc. with a 2.2 percent jump to $6.90, and Delta Apparel Inc. with a 2.8 percent gain to $13.11.
On the declining side at the opening bell were International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. with a 4.1 percent drop to $109.36; Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which fell 3.6 percent to $2.08; Coach Inc. with a 3.2 percent decline to $31.41, and Elizabeth Arden Inc., which lost 3.1 percent to $7.72.
On morning calls, analysts reiterated that the impact of the blizzard of 2016 on the consumer sector would be varied. Dana Telsey, chief executive officer of Telsey Advisory Group, told clients that for “the retailers, the good news is that January is the smallest retail sales volume month of the year at just around 7 percent to 8 percent [of annual revenue share]. The cold weather could help clear outerwear and boots.”
Speaking of footwear, Corinna L. Freedman, equity analyst at BB&T Capital Markets, told clients today in a retail store check conducted prior to Storm Jonas that she’s seen “a meaningful increase in new product across the stores we visited. Given the reduction in winter boots, Macy’s and Nordstrom now feature larger assortments of heels, flats and athletics, as well as an assortment of new booties despite weak sell-throughs for fall, which we have observed at other fashion footwear retailers such as Steve Madden, Aldo and DSW as well.”