Mall Operator Stocks Take a Beating After Macy's Says It Will Close Stores

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of mall operators were taking a beating in morning trade Thursday, after Macy's Inc. said it was closing 100 full-line stores. General Growth Properties' stock dropped 3.2%, which made it the biggest decliner among S&P 500 components. The second-biggest decline was Simon Property Group Inc.'s stock , which slumped 2%. The stores Macy's will close will be announced at a later date, but could include many that act as mall anchors. The closures highlight the decline in profitability in many of its brick-and-mortar locations, and an increased focus in digital sales. The 11 biggest decliners in the S&P 500 are real estate investment trusts, although not all are retail mall operators. Among the other shopping center REITs, shares of Macerich Co. shed 1.3% and Kimco Realty Corp. lost 1.2%. The iShares U.S. Real Estate ETF slid 0.9%. Meanwhile, Macy's stock soared 14% to pace the S&P 500 gainers.

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