Photo: LittleMissSilly, Flickr
Ahead of the inevitable forensic analysis of holiday shopping trends and the health of “the consumer” this is a good reminder of who “the consumer” actually is from Dan Greenhaus at BTIG:When discussing “the consumer,” it is important to remember that in reality, “the consumer” is the top 20% of income earners and then everybody else. The top 20% of income earners (who own about 80-90% of the equity market) account for about 40-45% of all spending in the economy. One need look no further than the performance of certain companies since the equity market bottom. While the S&P 500 is up 71% since March 2009, COH is up 400%, TIF is up 308% and JWN is up 262%. Conversely, while TJX is up 170%, KSS and WMT are up 55% and 19% respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, DLTR is up 188%, DG is up 85% and FDO is up 82%, all outperforming the index over the same time frame. Clearly consumer weakness depends on where you want to find it.