Jan 17, 2019

How the stock market stole Nordstrom's Christmas

Photo by Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Nordstrom, one of the few retail market bright spots in 2018, announced earnings and guidance on Wednesday that were unimpressive.

By the numbers: The company projected earnings per share for fiscal 2018 will fall to the lower end of its $3.27 to $3.37 range and noted weakness in its full-price stores, where same-store sales rose by 0.3%. It will resort to promotions to unload the excess inventory. Nordstrom's stock fell 5% as a result.

There may be more disappointment in store for luxury retailers, according to Goldman Sachs economist Daan Struyven.

  • Struyven argues that 2018's stock market losses will have a "meaningful effect on the spending of wealthy households," and that "spending on luxury goods largely purchased by wealthy households is highly sensitive to stock prices."
  • In fact, he predicts it could take half a percentage point off U.S. GDP growth in 2019, with overall tighter financial conditions knocking off 1%.

The bottom line: "While the share of equities owned by the wealthiest households has risen over the last three decades, equity holdings have more than tripled as a share of disposable income at the aggregate level and have also risen substantially for middle and upper-middle wealth groups. Therefore, a 1% move in stock prices now has a much larger impact on wealth levels for most groups."

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