Consumer Companies Lower as SuperValu Weighs -- Consumer Roundup

FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Shares of retailers and other consumer companies ticked lower as traders continued to shrink from supermarkets and food processors.

SuperValu, owner of its namesake and Shop'n'Save stores, among others, saw shares slide after it posted sales short of the Wall Street peg. One brokerage said the slump in the food-processing business could lift in 2018. "Fundamentals should exceed 2017's low bar, but US Food's secular issues remain far from resolved," said analysts at brokerage Morgan Stanley, in a research note. The Morgan Stanley analysts said shares of U.S. food processors have risen a mere 1% in the last 12 months compared with a 20% gain for the Standard & Poor's 500. The lag was caused by "unprecedented US sales weakness and a rapidly-evolving food retail environment called into question the industry's growth algorithm," said the Morgan Stanley analysts, in the note. "We see the near-term outlook as less dire, with 2018 organic sales flat on improving comps and emerging-markets trends, while margin expansion should again benefit from benign inflation."

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Sears Holdings said it raised $100 million in new financing, will pursue an additional $200 million and is seeking to refinance about $1 billion in debt.

Shares of auto makers General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler shares fell after Reuters reported Canadian officials believe President Trump could soon withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, which would have a cooling effect on cross-border auto sales.

Nordstrom shares fell after the department store retailer posted muted holiday-sales growth. Nordstrom's founding family may make another attempt to take the chain private.

Shares of Signet Jewelers declined after the company posted sales short of some analysts' targets.

Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 10, 2018 17:05 ET (22:05 GMT)