Posted by Brian McCullough
It looks like the tough times are spreading to the retail sector as we started to fear last week.
First there was the bad news from Best Buy.
Now there is widespread expectation that the major retails will be reporting sluggish sales this week.
As always, I’m not an economist. But part of what I want to do with this blog is keep our collective ears to the ground. If there are good news/bad news stories out there in the job market, we want our readers to know about it first.
Anyone out there in the retail arena? Are sales slowing down? How about hiring?
After the worst holiday season in five years, Wall Street is bracing for a slew of ugly profit reports from retailers and downbeat forecasts for 2008.
Major chains – from Wal-Mart to Macy’s to Gap – will report earnings for the crucial fourth quarter beginning this week. With the housing and credit markets in turmoil, gasoline prices soaring and the job market showing more signs of weakness, the picture won’t be pretty.
Home-improvement giants Home Depot and Lowe’s will be especially hard-hit, with both expected to post profit declines. Analysts will be listening for cost-cutting plans that could potentially hit jobs and wages, as the housing market stumbles through at least the first half of the year.