Teen Retailers Mixed Today as Major Indexes Fall

Major indexes all head lower on first day of trading during 2014.

Matt Thalman
Matt Thalman
Jan 2, 2014 at 1:00PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

After the wonderful 2013, 2014 is not off to a great start as all three of the major indexes are heading lower today. As of 1 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is down 124 points, or 0.75%. The S&P 500 is down 0.85% and the Nasdaq is off by 0.83%. While this may not be the start to the year that most investors would like to see, they need to remember that economic data was improving toward the end of 2013 and, more importantly, this is one day. Despite the Dow and S&P 500 finishing dramatically higher in 2013, they had a number of down days throughout the year. Today is not a sign of things to come, regardless of what some people will tell you.

Unlike the major indexes, a few teen retailers are mixed and moving more dramatically today. While shares of American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) are higher by 2.4% and 2.3%, respectively, Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) and Aeropostale are down 2.6% and 1.9%, respectively.

The moves come after analysts at Jefferies changed their ratings on the companies. American Eagle and Urban Outfitters were changed from a hold rating to a buy. Jefferies said these moves were made due to the fact that the companies performed well during a challenging time and in a retail environment that is constantly changing. Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale were downgraded from buy to hold due to the analyst belief that the companies will have a long recovery period after their recent poor performances.

This industry and these particular companies are known for having boom and bust years as the public's fashion sense changes. We are clearly seeing the change happening, as two companies that were performing well no longer are and two that had struggled are now back on top. Buying into one of these retailers is risky because fashion trends change so rapidly, and these companies can get caught out in the cold if they don't stay diligent.  

Another retailer doing well today is Crocs (NASDAQ:CROX) as shares are up 2.89%. Shares are now up more than 23% since trading began on Monday morning. Their wasn't one main catalyst for the move, but a bunch: the shoe company announced that the Blackstone Group was investing $200 million into Crocs, a few board seats will change, CEO John McCarvel will step down at the end of April, and the company plans a $350 million share buyback starting in January. All of these changes are seen as positives for the company by analysts, and they should be. The management and board changes should allow the company to start fresh with ideas, while the investment from Blackstone will allow the big share buyback and give Crocs management team a great business partner.  

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