The names? These include the high-end food plays—Whole Foods (WFM), Starbucks (SBUX), and Panera (PNRA); the upscale department stores Nordstroms (JWN) and Saks (SKS); specialty retail Michael Kors (KORS), Lululemon (LULU), Ralph Lauren (RL), Coach (COH) and Tiffany's (TIF); cosmetic bellwether Estee Lauder (EL); boat company Brunswick (BC)—which also sells billiard tables, fancy fitness machine, bowling equipment; and lastly Toll Brothers (TOL) which represents the high end of the home builders.
Of course, many of these names are driven by company-specific execution issues (think: the yoga pants recall hurting high-multiple stock Lululemon, Coach merchandising misses causing them to suffer versus competitors like Michael Kors, Tiffany's bouncing back after low expectations) but their performance and trends do reflect the underlying pulse on the high end.
Since we rolled out the index on Feb 25th, the Gatsby index has lagged the market, up 2.1% on average vs 4.9% for the S&P—and it also, for good measure, lags year to date, up 6.5% versus 9.0% for the S&P.
We will keep watching these names to continue to get a read on the consumer so check back here for the performance.