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Is Amazon, Nordstrom Rally Hiding Retail Trouble?

While retailers Amazon.com and Nordstromperformed well Thursday, “Fast Money” pros called out the lack of net gains among competitors and warned of possible effects from Friday’s employment report.

“The high-end consumer does seem to be doing well,” said resident retail expert Patty Edwards of Trutina Capital. “I think Kohl’s is getting its lunch eaten, actually, by our friends over at Macy’s.”

Edwards added that the retail sector is playing out as she had expected, with very little net growth.

“What it is, is people eating each other’s lunches,” he said. “It’s going to be whoever is the hungriest that’s going to get the business.”

Trader Stephen Weiss said the day’s activity shows that investors don’t want to be in mid-priced retailers.

“You don’t want to be in Kohl’s, you don’t want to be in Penney’s because they’re fighting for the same customer,” he said. “That customer is the one that’s under the most pressure by the financial situation. Go low-end, go high-end. That’s where you’ll make money and win.”

Weiss said he liked Nordstrom but was not planning any buys at current levels.

The “Fast Money” investment pros also noted Amazon was taking share from Apple.

“We always looked at Apple as an ecosystem,” trader Steve Grasso said. “Now Amazon’s creating their own thing here. You’ve got the cloud, you’ve got the retail arm, you’ve got the tech arm.”

Grasso noted strong Black Friday sales of Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

“It’s no iPad killer, but let me tell you, it’s very convenient,” he said. “You wind up putting into the retail space, and they suck you into that ecosystem.”

Keith McCullough of Hedgeye Risk Management urged caution all around, whether in high-end retail or tech.

“Tiffany looks like a disaster. Tiffany looks like the Wall Street bonus pool that’s coming, which is pretty empty,” he said.

Earlier this week, the luxury retailer cut its guidance for next quarter.

McCullough also said it was a problem Apple and Amazon resembled each other, adding, “They’re both broken.”

“On a bad employment number, Apple could be at $374 in two seconds,” he said. “So, you have to be really careful with these stocks because a lot of people have owned them for a long period of time and you’re starting to see that price leadership from those two stocks, basically, fall.”

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Trader disclosure: On Dec. 1, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Weiss owns BRCM, QCOM, EUO, SLV; Grasso owns AA, AKS, AMR, ASTM, BA, BAC, D, LIT, MHY, PFE, PRST, S, XLU;

Steve Grasso
Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own CSCO

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Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own MET

Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own MSFT

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Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own PRST

Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own RDC

Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own UAL

Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own WFT

Stuart Frankel & Co and its partners own XRX

Amelia Bourdeau
No disclosures

David Hilder
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Craig Bergeg
FBR acts as a market maker or liquidity provider for the company's securities: BRCM.

Adrienne Tennant
AEO - JMS is a market maker in this security and may at any time hold a long or short position in this security; JMS may seek compensation for investment banking services from the subject company in the next 3 months; the research analyst is compensated on based on, in part, JMS profitability which includes its investment banking revenues.

ANF - JMS is a market maker in this security and may at any time hold a long or short position in this security; JMS may seek compensation for investment banking services from the subject company in the next 3 months; the research analyst is compensated on based on, in part, JMS profitability which includes its investment banking revenues.

GPS - JMS is a market maker in this security and may at any time hold a long or short position in this security; JMS may seek compensation for investment banking services from the subject company in the next 3 months; the research analyst is compensated on based on, in part, JMS profitability which includes its investment banking revenues.

LULU - JMS is a market maker in this security and may at any time hold a long or short position in this security; JMS may seek compensation for investment banking services from the subject company in the next 3 months; the research analyst is compensated on based on, in part, JMS profitability which includes its investment banking revenues.

ARO - JMS is a market maker in this security and may at any time hold a long or short position in this security; JMS may seek compensation for investment banking services from the subject company in the next 3 months; the research analyst is compensated on based on, in part, JMS profitability which includes its investment banking revenues.

Jason Gere
RBC Capital Markets is currently providing Jarden Corp. with non-securities services.

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CNBC.com with wires.

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