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The Retail Market as a Stock and Economic Indicator

As the selloff continues, our Big View service Risk Gauge has been bearish for weeks, signaling risk off. Most of our portfolio strategies hold more than 50% cash, some are short, and my discretionary service is looking to deploy capital soon.

Today, we’ll focus on what the retail sector, represented by the SPDR Retail ETF (AKA Granny, Modern Family member), is telling us about the economy and the market’s direction. The Modern Family looks at industries that lead the economy (housing, retail, and transportation, to name a few). Is XRT signaling that there is more economic trouble ahead?

It’s hardly surprising that XRT has underperformed the SPY recently, since retailers face historic high inflation and consumers are under pressure. If we look at the price history of XRT, every time the sector has taken a nosedive, it’s been accompanied by a steep decline in the S&P 500. The most recent examples can be seen in March 2020 and in 2008, and we are seeing similar signs now. XRT will struggle as the business cycle weakens.

On a daily timeframe, XRT has already closed well below its respective 200-day average. It is also -36.5% year-to-date down compared to the SPY decline of -23.8%. Real Motion is showing continued downward momentum. Granny Retail is warning us that a recession is on the horizon, and lower stock prices are possible.

A current retest of XRT’s recent lows of around $57/share might represent the beginning of a bottoming process, but Granny could fall much further if past bear markets are a guide. Keep an eye on the retail sector and stay ahead of the curve.

For more information on how to recognize and trade trending sectors,  please reach out to Rob Quinn, our Chief Strategy Consultant, by clicking here.

Mish’s Upcoming Seminars

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Follow Mish on Twitter @marketminute for stock picks and more. Follow Mish on Instagram (mishschneider) for daily morning videos. To see updated media clips, click here.

Mish in the Media

Mish talks about key averages, yields and commodities on this appearance on Bloomberg TV.

A business cycle is about 6-7 years – where are the indices now and what should you watch for? Mish discusses this question in this appearance on Fox’s Making Money with Charles Payne.

ETF Summary

S&P 500 (SPY): Testing the previous low; 362 support, 370 resistance.Russell 2000 (IWM): Broke the June low of 165.18; 162 support, 170 resistance.Dow (DIA): Broke June low; 289 support, 298 resistance.Nasdaq (QQQ): Testing the June low; 269 support, 280 resistance.KRE (Regional Banks): 57 support, 61 resistance.SMH (Semiconductors): 187 support, 194 resistance.IYT (Transportation): 196 support, 204 resistance.IBB (Biotechnology): 112 support, 118 resistance.XRT (Retail): 55 support, 60 resistance.

Mish Schneider

Director of Trading Research and Education

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