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ETF Specialist

Consumer Discretionary Stocks: The Winter of Discontent

Lousy weather and weak holiday results make the sector a relative bargain.

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Since the start of the year, the United States equity sector that has underperformed the most has been the consumer discretionary sector.

While the U.S. stock market's performance has been slightly better than flat for the year, consumer discretionary names have been battered during the past three months. The weakness has come across many different consumer discretionary subsectors, including media, online retail, and traditional retail. In the wake of a very weak holiday shopping season in December--the worst holiday season for retail since 2009--and lousy weather trends that kept many shoppers home both in December and throughout winter 2014, many retailers have suffered. In addition, online retailer  Amazon.com (AMZN) and some media companies have lagged.

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Robert Goldsborough does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.