Retailers Showing Q4 A Mixed Bag So Far

The fourth quarter is now half over, and fourth quarter earnings estimates have been coming down quickly for financials and retailers. Both Kohl's and Ann Taylor loweredtheir guidance.

Ann Taylor noted that "Traffic trends were particularly soft in the month of October," though they improved in November. One positive note: Kohl's appears to have inventory well under control. So the fourth quarter earnings retail score this week is: two hold (Wal-Mart, Macy's), three lower (JC Penney, Kohl's, Ann Taylor).



Fannie Mae 9 AM conference call. The company will answer questions from investors. The stock was down 10% yesterday over an article in Fortune magazine's web site about a change in the way the company reports credit losses. The impact of the mortgage crises could be "dramatic" according to Goldman Sachs. Lending could be scaled back by up to $2 trillion.

With oil stocks down 10% in the last month, Deutsche Bank upgraded Chevron,Conoco and Marathon on what they believe are higher oil prices ($80 and above).

One of the reasons China has seen such explosive growth without a slowdown is that it has been able to export its excess capacity. However, a slowing U.S. economy could change that. A report from China's commerce ministry concluded, "If demand in the U.S. drops further, Chinese exporters will be devastated by a rapid and continuous fall in orders," the report said.

Questions? Comments?