According to AAA, as of last night, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has been either flat or higher for 51 straight days and has reached $2.69 per gallon, up almost .03 on the week. The .03 doesn’t sound like much but it’s an extra $4b annualized out of consumer pockets and is up .64 over the 51 day time period. Combining this with a still troubled, albeit not as bad, labor market and a deleveraging consumer, it’s no coincidence that retail stocks have recently underperformed the broader market. Off its intraday recent highs, the SPX is down by 3.3% while the RTH is down by 5.7% and the XRT is lower by 8%.
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