and deleveraging is taking a toll on consumers. We can no longer sell our Qualcomm stock for $500/share or swipe our ATM card through our home as many did for the last 10 years. Where will consumer spending come from for the next ten years?
Approximately 30% of US household wealth was destroyed by the real estate collapse and the 2008 stock market crash. Currently it stands at about $15 trillion, down 30% from $22 trillion at the 2007 peak. With consumer household debt at approximately $13 trillion, this leaves us with $2 trillion in assets. The debt burden is taking a toll on the consumer as home values continue to fall and banks cut their credit limits. The consumer would rather save than spend as it deals with a lack of assets.
Markets have been pricing a recovery in consumer spending which accounts for 70% of GDP but, retail sales last month disappointed. The commerce department reported today that retail sales fell 0.1 percent last month as economists had expected a gain of 0.7 percent. All eyes will be on the fall retail spending as back to school shopping accounts for much of retail sales. The SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) which comprises of approximately 60 stocks that follow the US retail market has enjoyed 50% gains since it’s November 2008 low.
Here is a list of the top 10 companies listed within the ETF below:
- CHICO’S F A S INC (CHS)
- COLLECTIVE BRANDS (PSS)
- Expedia, Inc. (EXPE)
- GAP INC (GPS)
- GUESS INC. (GES)
- Gymboree Corporation (GYMB)
- J CREW GROUP INC. (JCG)
- PENNEY J C CO HOLDIN (JCP)
- LIMITED BRANDS INC (LTD)
- RADIOSHACK CORP (RSH)
Investors may looking to book some profits after today’s retail numbers, and the UltraShort Consumer Services ProShares (SCC) & UltraShort Consumer Goods ProShares (SZK) bet against the consumer.