Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

Retailers: Stock Prices Are the Problem, Not Sales

Even with the skeletal staffing in New York, comments are trickling in from analysts about the strong holiday season. Several companies have been mentioned multiple times this morning as notable winners: Abercrombie & Fitch, which appears to be continuing to win market share;

Ann Taylor and Limited also strong, as was Coach, Deckers (with strong Uggs sales), and Signet Jewelers, owner of Kay Jewelers, #1 jewelery seller in the U.S.

The problem isn't sales, it's the stock prices.

Big runups going into the close of the year have traders wondering how much more upside there is, particularly with comps tougher in 2011.

Retailers' results this year:

Abercrombie up 65%

Limited up 59%

Coach up 52%

Macy's up 48%

Tiffany up 48%

One other problem: despite retail standouts, the biggest guys—Home Depot , Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Lowe's and Target—are either not seeing the recovery yet or just beginning to see it. So, traders note, if the economy improves to where the needle moves among the giants, the midsize retailers will continue to see improvement as well.

Bookmark CNBC Data Pages:



Questions? Comments? tradertalk@cnbc.com

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Wall Street

  • Robert Shiller

    Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller says that his key valuation indicator is flashing warning signs.

  • Lael Brainard

    The Fed is in the early stages of an analysis on changes in bond market liquidity, amid signs that liquidity may be less resilient than in past.

  • Bill Gross

    Janus Capital acquired a majority interest in Kapstream Capital and said Kapstream's Palghat will support Bill Gross as co-portfolio manager of the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond strategy.