US retail shares smashed! Will ASX retail shares head downhill?

Overnight on Wall Street the Dow Jones crashed over 200 points to close at 17,711.

Leading the decline was the retail sector which plunged over 4%, marking its worst one-day performance since 2011.

The sell-off in US retail stocks was led by big declines in a number of leading names such as Macy’s (down over 15%) and Guess (down over 6%) as investors fretted about weak consumer spending levels.

What does it all mean for the ASX today?

Companies exposed to discretionary spending came under particularly heavy selling on Wall Street overnight and this could spill over to ASX-listed retailers today.

Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) could be spared to some degree considering a large percentage of their sales revenue come from supermarket, non-discretionary items.

In contrast, discretionary retailers such as Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV) and Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX: HVN) could experience investors in a “risk-off” mode.

It will be particularly interesting to see how shares in Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) perform today, given the company is particularly exposed to the discretionary retail shopper, but has this morning released a positive set of quarterly sales numbers.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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