Retail Stocks Battered By Amazon-related Fears

By Ciara Linnane Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of retailers were hammered Monday, as a wave of fears about the impact of juggernaut Amazon.com Inc. on the sector were highlighted in stories and commentary from analysts. Department store chain Macy's Inc. , currently in the midst of store closures caused by weak revenue as shoppers switch to Amazon, led the decliners with a 7% fall, making it the worst performer on the S&P 500. Gap Inc. fell 6.5%, followed by Best Buy Inc. , down 6.3%. Best Buy has mostly escaped the pressure of the Amazon effect, but was hit Monday by a Recode report that Amazon has been hiring a team of people to offer in-home product installations, competing with Best Buy's "Geek Squad." Kohl's Corp. fell 4.6% and Nordstrom Inc. was down 2.7%. Abercrombie & Fitch fell 20% after it said it had ended talks on a potential deal. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was down 2.5% and Foot Locker Inc. was down 2.3%. Costco Wholesale Corp. fell 1.7% after an analyst downgrade that suggested the company's strong fundamentals are being overshadowed by Amazon fears, following its bid for Whole Foods Markets Inc. . The SPDR S&P Retail exchange-traded fund was down 2% and is now down 11.7% in 2017, while the S&P 500 has gained 9%.

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