Feeling worried? You're not alone.
American consumers' confidence levels appear to be shot, with Gallup polls showing record low consumer confidence levels and increased fears of being laid off.
Concerns of layoffs plague 30% of workers, compared to 26% in 2010. August 2009 saw fears at its worst, at 31%. Workers are also worried hours, benefits and wages will be reduced.
The high level of concern is reflected in U.S. consumer confidence, which now polls at 44.5, well below estimates of 52, and far below a healthy economy's reading of 90.
All this worrying is sure to affect the companies that rely on consumer spending, which is on the rise overall, but at a slower than expected rate.
When consumer confidence is low, consumers may be more hesitant to spend and hold back on big-ticket items. Consumers are also likely to scrimp and save wherever possible, from driving and eating out less to choosing cheaper cereal brands.
Consumer goods stocks are likely to take the biggest hit from worried and cash-strapped consumers.
Interested in tracking how the slowdown in consumer spending affects consumer companies? Below we list consumer spending stocks that have been dumped by hedge funds.
The "smart money" thinks these consumer stocks are facing hard times and are unlikely to rebound anytime soon. Do you agree? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)
1. Citi Trends
3. Foot Locker
5. Pacific Sunwear of California
6. Stage Stores
7. The Talbots
8. Wet Seal
9. Big Lots
10. BJ's Wholesale Club
Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.
Kapitall's Becca Lipman does not own any of the shares mentioned above. Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Citi Trends and Gap. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.