There’s no need to panic yet, but U.S. stocks suddenly look a touch shaky. All three broad market indices fell in trading on Monday. A 0.86% decline in the S&P 500 was that index’s steepest fall since Oct. 8. It has been equally as long since U.S. stocks pulled back more than 1% over any stretch.
Again, there’s not much reason to suggest that the rally this year suddenly is over. But a minor correction wouldn’t be a shock. Valuations across the market look potentially stretched. Disappointing industrial data and new tariffs Monday’s sell-off, and news on either front looks unlikely to change any time soon.
It has been the U.S. consumer that’s held up the economy and the market — and provide some reason for optimism. Tuesday’s big stock charts focus on plays in the consumer space, all of which seem to need some help at the moment.
For investors who see the two-day decline as yet another buying opportunity, these three stocks should be attractive. But if the market sell-off will continue, declines in all three names could accelerate.
Dollar General (DG)
Dollar General (NYSE:) heads into fiscal third-quarter earnings on Thursday morning in a precarious position. The first of Tuesday’s big stock charts suggests downside ahead, and there are fundamental concerns:
- DG stock isn’t necessarily expensive, at 21x forward earnings. But that’s a large multiple relative to the stock’s historical range. Rival Dollar Tree (NASDAQ:) trades at just 16.5x next year’s estimates. DLTR stock admittedly plunged after earnings last week, and has continued to fall. That isn’t necessarily bullish for DG stock either, however: a similar miss from Dollar General could raise concerns about the dollar store space as a whole.
- And the obvious concern here is competition. It was dollar stores that pressured Walmart (NYSE:) earlier this year, but that giant appears back on track. Target (NYSE:) is taking market share. Even Amazon (NASDAQ:) might be a bigger factor with its nationwide rollout of one-day shipping. If Dollar General earnings for Q3 disappoint at all, the narrative surrounding the stock can change markedly. At the very least, the first of our big stock charts suggests investors are increasingly worried about Thursday’s report.
Simon Property Group (SPG)
Shares of mall operator Simon Property Group (NYSE:) touched a five-year low last month, but it could be worse. SPG stock actually has held up better than most plays in its space, but the question at the moment is if sector weakness will pull the stock down to new lows:
- It might seem outlandish to suggest that Simon stock can keep falling. Simon remains the best of the mall REITs, and at $140 it would yield a seemingly stunning 6%. But investors could have said much the same about smaller rival Macerich (NYSE:). That stock saw a similar pattern just two weeks ago and fell through support soon after. News from CBL & Associates (NYSE:), which suspended its dividend on Monday, may drive further pressure across the space.
Public Storage (PSA)
The news does look better for another consumer-facing real estate investment trust, Public Storage (NYSE:). PSA stock has pulled back sharply since the beginning of September. But there’s a reasonable “buy the dip” case here, with signs of stabilization on the last of Tuesday’s big stock charts:
Source: Provided by Finviz
- All that said, PSA needs some help from the macro environment. Storage spending is more sensitive to consumer confidence than revenue streams for other REITs. Yields elsewhere are higher, and P/FFO multiples are lower. There does seem to be a nice fundamental case here for buying an excellent company at an attractive valuation, but investors need to trust the economy and the market for that case to hold.
As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned.
The post appeared first on InvestorPlace.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.
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