ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Retail and consumer discretionary ETFs were the steepest sector decliners Wednesday on reports U.S. holiday sales were the slowest since 2008.

Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLY) and SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEArca: XRT) were both down more than 1% in recent trading.

“In 2012, the shopping season was disrupted by bad weather and consumers’ rising uncertainty about the economy,” the Financial Times reports.

Retail holiday shopping rose o.7% from the year-ago period during the two months leading up to Christmas, well below analyst expectations, according to a MasterCard unit estimate.

Weak sales were blamed on superstorm Sandy and worries over the U.S. fiscal cliff.

“It’s been a challenging holiday season,” said David Jaffe, CEO of Ascena Retail Group, in a report.

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