West Coast ports are shutting for a long weekend as contract talks between shipping companies and dockworkers drag on, a suspension that will pile up ships off Los Angeles and Long Beach, California.
The current break in the action at the seaports, the largest in the country with $1 trillion in annual trade at stake, will give a peak at how a prolonged shutdown will affect retailers who could not have enough inventory to meet consumer demand during the key spring selling season.
Many of these stocks could be hurt, giving traders a chance for a short play in the coming weeks or long-term investors an opportunity to pick up consumer discretionary shares at a discount.
Even if a resolution is reached, the unofficial slowdown amid the tough negotiations is already hurting deliveries, analysts said.
CNBC.com used Kensho, a quantitative tool used by hedge funds to track the performance of retailers five trading days after seven such West Coast port disruptions since 2002. Here's the analysis: