Consumer Cos Up on Spending Outlook -- Consumer Roundup

Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies rose as higher prices in the housing and stock markets spurred expectations of increased spending. "Business and consumer confidence have remained remarkably resilient despite a weak first quarter gross domestic product report," said Bob Doll, chief investment strategist at money manager Nuveen Investments. "If economic data continues to be soft, we would expect to see those confidence levels tested. Fundamentals, however, look good to us: Hiring remains strong, consumer spending is solid and manufacturing continues to improve." Shares of Ford Motor rose after the auto giant said industry outsider Jim Hackett would replace Chief Executive Mark Fields. The recent pattern of bruising selloffs for retail stocks when large department stores report earnings provide buying opportunities for investors betting on discount stores and other niche retailers, said one brokerage. "Chatter around the Death of Retail has yet again hit a fever pitch," said analysts at brokerage Nomura Securities in a research note. "There's no doubting the structural issues facing retail, but it has seemed that every time the department stores give bad news, the sector becomes 'un-investable.'" Many retailers subsequently rebound as "distance makes the heart grow fonder," said the Nomura analysts.

-Rob Curran,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 22, 2017 16:28 ET (20:28 GMT)