U.S. Retailers in a Bind as Investors Refuse to Budge

Macy's Black Friday
A large crowd of people shop during a Black Friday sales event at Macy's flagship store in New York City (Photo: REUTERS/Stephanie Keith)

Macy's leads the way in plummeting shares as investors imply cautiousness amid an imminent global stock market decline.

According to Reuters, Target and Kohl's have been impacted by wary investors who are less eager to drop cash on U.S. retailers. Macy's received the biggest blow with shares down by almost 5 percent.

Several aspects affected the decision of investors to stay uptight at the beginning of the year. One of these is a fire in a West Virginia store that consumed products up for delivery. Coincidentally, the fire took place during the holidays.

Despite good sales at the end of 2018, Macy's shares saw a downward dive of over 18 percent. The figures amount to almost $2 billion of the chain's overall market value, further raising concern among investors. Kohl's shares the same story as stocks dipped to almost 6 percent.

Investors have been jumpy about fishing out cash for retail stores since the start of the year. It didn't help that the China-U.S. trade war escalated following the December meeting between President and Xi Jinping that failed to materialize.

Furthermore, the World Bank announced earlier this week that the global market will see a decline in growth this year.

On the contrary, S&P 500 started the road to recovery as stocks saw a hike for the fifth successive session. Analysts believe the hike may have been impacted by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's statements on Wednesday.

Powell noted that the central bank is amenable to adjusting with the developments in the global market as predictions of a slowing economy rage, whether there is little or significant progress, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Experts translate this cooperation as a way to ease fears among tested investors and newbies. If the central bank keeps its word during the global market's darkest times, shares may start skyrocketing by mid-year.

Meanwhile, multiple outlets revealed that another China-U.S. meeting may take place later this month. It is speculated that Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, who was in attendance on the first day of trade talks, will drop by Washington late January. Liu's unexpected appearance at the trade talks is believed to be China's expression of goodwill.

Trade talks between China and the United States kicked off Monday and wrapped up on Wednesday. Both parties agreed to keep in contact as they resolve trade differences that have largely affected the global market. No deal has been struck yet but both countries have expressed optimism for an agreement before the trade truce ends on March.

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