Retail sales in November hobbled alongside the sector’s related exchange traded funds (ETFs). Only Wal-Mart (WMT) seems to have been spared the carnage.

November was the weakest retail month since at least 1969, and contributed to more fears that this holiday shopping period could just be one to forget, reports Anne D’Innocenzio for the Associated PressThe Goldman Sachs-International Council of Shopping Centers, an index of 37 stores, reported a drop of 2.7%. Excluding Wal-Mart, the index declined 7.7%.

Bargain shoppers gave Wal-Mart a nice assist, but others didn’t fare so well. Costco (COST) usually performs nicely, but that wasn’t the case last month. Mall-based chains were even worse off, reporting declines of more than 10%.

Cyber Monday, which fell on Dec. 1 this year, rose 15%. Online retail spending dipped an unexpected 2% in November, reports AFP. Aggressive online discounts might be helping.

Retail HOLDRs (RTH): down 24.4% year-to-date; down 8% in the last month. At 26.4% of the holdings, Wal-Mart is by far the largest component of the fund. If the discount retailer can continue to post strong earnings throughout the holidays, perhaps this and other retail ETFs that have a high percentage of Wal-Mart can put up a good fight.


The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.