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Retailers' Ho-Ho Woes
-- November 18, 2002

It's beginning to look a lot like consumers aren't in the shopping mood this season. And several major retailers are already hinting that things may be as bad -- or even worse -- than they expected.

Wal-Mart warned today that sales will come in at the low end of its already-lowered growth estimate of 2% to 4%. Federated Stores expects to meet sales expectations of a not-quite-merry flat to negative 2.5%. J.C. Penney and Kmart believe that sales will be "flat to slightly higher" for the holiday season.

That news won't put shareholders in the holiday spirit, either. Investors are looking for any sign of a rebound in the economy. After all, they've already priced a big rebound into the market. If one doesn't come to fruition very soon, we expect investors to stage a major sell-off, bringing stocks valuations back to reality.

related article: Wal-Mart Sales at Low End of Guidance