Tuesday, April 21, 2009

S&P downgrades Macy's and JCP to junk

Standard & Poor's has lowered the ratings on pretty much the whole retail sector, it appears, with Macy's and J.C. Penney taking the biggest hits.
"The rating actions reflect Standard & Poor's deepening concern about the impact of the U.S. recession on the increasingly troubled department store sector," Standard & Poor's credit analyst Diane Shand writes in her reports, "which has felt the full brunt of the declining U.S. economy and weakening consumer confidence in 2008. We believe lower consumer spending and declining mall traffic will affect the sales and profits of the department store operators this year," Shand writes, "and that recovery will be slow."
I'm not a market analyst (as a glance at my portfolio would quickly prove), but I certainly agree that "recovery will be slow" for the department store sector, since their problems pre-date the recession and will continue after the recession is over.

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