A poor reading on the initial holiday sales results and continued hand wringing over the fiscal cliff pushed stocks to losses as investors returned from the holiday. The S&P 500 fell 0.5% to 1419.8 and the NASDAQ 0.7% to 2990.2. Mastercard reported holiday increased 0.7% versus expectations of 3-4% – the poor results were blamed on Superstorm Sandy, the fiscal cliff, and a myriad of other reasons. One thing to keep in mind is various organizations post different numbers based on category so expect other numbers to be published in the days to come.
The 2012 holiday season may have been the worst for retailers since the 2008 financial crisis, with sales growth far below expectations, forcing many to offer massive post-Christmas discounts in hopes of shedding excess inventory. The National Retail Federation had previously predicted 4.1 percent sales growth this year, versus a 5.6 percent increase a year earlier.
The S&P 500 has now returned back to that same zone it has been stuck in for much of the month after a failed breakout over November highs.
The NASDAQ is a similar story but closer to some key long term moving averages, namely the 200 day.
Our NYSE McClellan Oscillator is back to slightly oversold after this three day selloff.
You can see it was a rough day for retailers in light of the Christmas data – a whole host of names were hit, some examples below:
Here is the broad ETF for the retailing group which fell much more sharply than the market.