At this time of year, retail stock-watching is as customary as turkey and cranberry sauce.
But this year, we're seeing an interesting new phenomenon unfold among some familiar players.
The stock market is diverging, split between the top-tier "Haves" and the struggling, shrinking "Have Nots."
This shift means big profits for investors looking at the companies I'm about to talk about.
But it also means classic retail stocks are facing nearly insurmountable headwinds this year. And it would be a (costly) mistake to expect much good news for them in the upcoming 2015 holiday shopping season.
In fact, the "Have Nots" are going to find that the "Haves" have come in and taken it all…
Who's Losing This Season
Over the past few weeks, we've seen some terrible earnings reporting from high-end retailer Nordstrom. And JC Penney's troubles are as well-documented as they are never-ending.
Venerable old Macy's is looking to close around 40 locations before the first half of 2016, as it prepares to surrender its position in the clothing segment to Amazon over the next 18 months.
Even bigger brick-and-mortar retailers, like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), which have deep pockets and something of an online presence, are finding themselves under threat from Amazon.
For these retailers, the trouble has less to do with a struggling economy and more to do with a fundamental change in the way people shop. They clearly didn't anticipate how deeply consumers would embrace technology and shopping from nearly anywhere.
And there's no clear path back to health and prosperity for these old retailers, who may find that they're "Have Nones" before too much longer.
About the Author
Nationally recognized technical trader. Background in engineering, system designs, and risk reduction. 26 years in the markets.