Normally, when the Fed starts loosening policy it does so amid clear-cut signs of economic weakness.Economyread more
Wall Street economists are anxiously awaiting Wednesday's FOMC meeting.Marketsread more
More and more American firms are calling for the Trump administration to resolve its conflict with China.World Economyread more
All trains travelling in and out of New York Penn Station have been halted because of an Amtrak overhead wire issue, New Jersey Transit said Wednesday.Transportationread more
This just might be Fed Chair Jerome Powell's toughest meeting yet because whatever the outcome, odds are high that it will disappoint a large group.Market Insiderread more
American Airlines is ordering Airbus' new A321XLR, according to a source familiar with details of the agreement.Paris Air Showread more
Tesla shares are nearing Morgan Stanley's price target but the firm isn't sure how to tell investors to value Elon Musk's company.Investingread more
Companies are increasingly willing to pay for employees to go to the doctor. Uber is partnering with Grand Rounds, a start-up that sells into the employer channel, to make it...Technologyread more
But it's still unclear when the currently stalled trade negotiations between the two economic superpowers will restart, Lighthizer said.Politicsread more
Apple's iOS 13 update, which will be available in the fall for iPhones, will let Siri read your text messages to you through your AirPods. Here's how to set it up.Technologyread more
Target CEO Brian Cornell apologized to customers for a disappointing weekend after the company experienced outages that shut down its cash registers and credit-card processors...Retailread more
The Amazon vortex won't suck in everyone. That's the verdict of investors in the retail sector. Among potential competitors to the e-commerce juggernaut founded by Jeff Bezos, some – including Ross Stores, Home Depot and AutoZone – may have the wherewithal to withstand Amazon. The market is conferring on them valuations commensurate with, or better than, the one accorded to Amazon.
Amazon is already wreaking Hurricane Harvey-like damage on the shopping landscape. And that will intensify as the $450 billion titan completes its $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods this week. Amazon pledged to lower prices and put an end to its reputation as "whole paycheck," crushing shares in competing grocers last week.
But not all chains selling stuff to consumers are equally in the path of destruction. E-commerce sales made up 9 percent, or some $111 billion, of total retail sales tallying $1.3 trillion in the second quarter, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In that same time period, Amazon notched $22 billion in North American revenue, suggesting there are still plenty of dollars to fight over.
True, investors are betting Amazon will emerge with lots of them. They value its equity and debt at about 1.5 times projected 2020 revenue of nearly $300 billion, Eikon data show. Yet Home Depot, the do-it-yourself category killer, bests Amazon at 1.8 times projected sales. That may reflect the fact that 40 percent of its online sales are picked up at over 2,200 stores, giving it a potentially defensible mix of e-commerce and bricks and mortar.
Motor-parts chain AutoZone may represent another retail slice that's somewhat Amazon-resistant. The $19 billion company trades at 1.5 times 2020 sales, a recognition that it has created a supply chain that minimizes inventory without crimping a timely ability to fulfill customer orders.
Even in the rag trade, there are bright spots. At 1.4 times projected 2020 sales, $23 billion Ross Stores, which sells reasonably priced clothing through more than 1,500 outlets, fetches an enterprise valuation close to Amazon's. TJX Companies, operator of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, lingers at 1.1 times sales. That's below Amazon but well above peers like Macy's and Kohl's. Bargain hunting may offer some respite from online price choppers.
Once he's done crushing the grocery business Bezos may seriously set Amazon's sights on car parts, cheap clothes and plumbing accessories. For now, though, the market is betting on a few pockets of calm.
Commentary by Jennifer Saba, a columnist at Breakingviews. Follow her on Twitter .
For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.