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Retail-apparel sector leads stock market slide
The retail-apparel sector led the recent stock market slide, which climaxed in last Monday's collapse, as many of those stocks, including some footwear issues, began to soften weeks earlier.
For at least one securities analyst, Fred Wintzer Jr., who follows retail-apparel stocks for Alex Brown, Baltimore, the group's slide was a precursor of a bear market, though not the 508-point dive the Dow Jones Industrial Average took last Monday, Oct. 21.
"This is always the way a bear market starts,' Wintzer observed. "One group gets beat . . . and the market follows. Once the retail-apparel group got hit, you knew you were looking at a market that was going to hell.'
Nike, for instance, whose stock closed at 24 1/8 as recently as Oct. 1, saw its issue slide 17 percent to 20 5/8 on Oct. 15, despite healthy first-quarter earnings, strong consumer demand for its Air line and an aggressive advertising campaign.
In last week's mayhem, Nike closed as low as 15 on Tuesday, rebounded to 17 1/2 on Wednesday and finished Thursday at 16 5/8, off 24.1 percent from the previous Thursday.
Cherokee, in the same week it reported its third-quarter earnings jumped 69.6 percent, …