Market Minute: Shutdown Threatens Retail Sales, Forces Factory Layoffs

The government shutdown worries retailers, and it leads to layoffs in manufacturing. Those and more are what's in Thursday's Market Minute.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 58 points Wednesday, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost a point and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) slipped 3.

government shutdown threatens improved holiday retail sales
Scott Olson/Getty Images
A number of retailers are reporting September and third-quarter sales this morning, and the numbers aren't expected to be very good. The back-to-school season was disappointing, especially for retailers that cater to teens such as Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Aeropostale (ARO), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) and Ascena Retail Group (ASNA). Weak back-to-school sales often portend a weak holiday shopping season.

The National Retail Federation forecasts holiday sales will increase by nearly 4 percent from last year, but warns that forecast could be cut if consumers reduce their spending because of the paralysis in Washington.

The jewelry chain Zale (ZLC) is losing some of its luster. The company says private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital may sell up to 11 million shares of Zale stock.

United Technologies (UTX) will furlough 2,000 workers from its Sikorsky helicopter unit as a result of the government shutdown. Several thousand more could face furloughs if the budget stalemate isn't resolved in the next week or so. And Boeing (BA) warns an extended shutdown could force the company to delay deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner and other newer model planes.

Shares of Angie's List (ANGI) remain volatile following reports the company is slashing the cost of membership in several key markets. The company is testing a $10 annual fee in New York, Washington, Chicago and several other markets. That's down from $40.

A bidding war could be brewing for Blackberry (BBRY). News reports say a second private equity group is considering an offer to compete with the tentative deal Blackberry already has with Fairfax Financial Holdings.

And activist investor Bill Ackman is reducing his bet against Herbalife (HLF). He claims the maker of nutritional supplements is run like a pyramid scheme. But so far, he's lost an estimated $300 million, as the stock has rallied this year.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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I seen old Harry on tv today,,,,he is looking bad and voice getting lower...
I seen old Nancy,,,well,,she never looks good,,but,,her hair was wild......
I believe both are loosing it.!!!!!!!

But,,,before you get mad,,,the Democrates can vote,,,YES TO RE START THE GOV.!!!!! ALL UP TO THE DEMOCRATES.!!!!

October 03 2013 at 6:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The 4th day tomorrow.....The sun is still shinning,,,the moon is out,,,,,Trains still running...
But,,OBAMA out today forcasting doom and gloom,,,like a good little DEMOCRATE DOES.!!

October 03 2013 at 6:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hurry to the store! Get all the bread and toilet paper you can carry!

October 03 2013 at 4:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jrexmarda's comment

I love it,,,super good post.!!!!!!!!! DOOM AND GLOOM THAT IS A DEMOCRATE.!!!

October 03 2013 at 6:15 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

It is sad that liberals hate Republicans more than they love America.

October 03 2013 at 4:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment

B-B,,,,,a good post.!!!! I never knew Democrates had so much hate in there hearts,!!! And,,,now,,,they are even throwing slurs out,,,I believe they are at the wits end.!!!!

October 03 2013 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are we REALLY worried about layoffs in ASIA? I hope not. There aren\'t enough toys or Christmas items still made in the US to make that much of a problem. And on top of that, most US made Christmas items are sold in high income area stores, not Wal-Mart. As far as retail layoffs go, the retailers have not yet hired any extra help for the Holidays. I guess this will screw up POTUS\' \"rose colored\" employment numbers.

October 03 2013 at 4:11 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Sorry, I was speaking to badsomey of course.

October 03 2013 at 3:43 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I see now. Your references to boners and drinking, and your obvious obsession with same, means you have to be a 12 year old boy. That would explain your complete lack of understanding about the current situation in Washington.

October 03 2013 at 3:42 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sales5ralls's comment

I was thinking the same thing myself.

October 03 2013 at 3:44 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Badsomey, are you and miley one and the same, because you both are always wrong when you post.

October 03 2013 at 3:27 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

So none of the shlt in the headline has happened? Didn't think so.

October 03 2013 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why would the shut down affect retailers ? That makes no sense !

October 03 2013 at 3:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply