Three little words from VF Corp and a small guide down, and Jim Cramer watched it take down the entire retail sector in one day.
So, when worldwide apparel company VF Corp said that a broad slowdown would take revenue growth to 8 percent from 10 percent, retail investors jumped ship from the whole group. They didn't bother to find out what stores were actually being impacted or if VF Corp's issue extended to other companies.
Investors assumed that this information meant that every retailer must have had a terrible fall, so it was time to exit the group.
Meanwhile VF Corp's worldwide business is actually very strong, particularly in China.
"What a waste of time that part of the conference call was! All that mattered was 'choppy' and 'soft' coupled with some inventory numbers that seemed high versus what we're used to getting from VFC," Cramer said.
Cramer thinks that the reason why there was such a strong domino effect from earnings was because VF Corp is considered to be the best of the best, one of the most consistent companies in the industry.
This, coupled with the fact that Wal-Mart made it clear that it was not doing well last week, Skechers' big earnings shock on Friday and Under Armour's commentary that many interpreted as meaning that there is too much sportswear in the industry just made things worse.
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At this point Cramer would not be surprised if at least one of the big-time analysts who follow retail will downgrade the whole group.
"You need to get ahead of that negative commentary, hence why so many retail stocks got hurt yesterday," Cramer said. (Tweet this)
So, once again, Cramer's thesis that this is a rolling bear market trapped in a bull market played out. This time it was in retail. He advised for investors to wait a few weeks, and the retail stocks will bounce back. But the key is to wait, because this was a major issue for retail that will take time to sort out.