NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Retail stocks have held up relatively well in recent weeks compared with the overall market.
Even the broad market has been volatile because of Eurozone debt worries, the debt ceiling uncertainty, and disappointing jobs data, an all-star group of retailers have managed to keep climbing.
"The DNA that links these companies is margin expansion in prior quarters and likely in future quarters, either resulting from a turnaround after years of sagging performance or best-of-breed industry status in a consumer sector chock full of volatile fundamental," says Wall Street Strategies analyst Brian Sozzi.
While Sozzi doesn't expecting any of these names to report disappointing earnings, even a solid quarter may spark some selling."These stocks are priced to perfection, and even if second-quarter earnings beat and full-year guidance is reaffirmed or raised slightly, the market's reaction may be negative," Sozzi noted. "Investors would be profit taking, deciding to park the gains in cash or other names that have the potential to be future all-stars." Tracking these retail elite ahead of earnings season is a good guide to find potential shorts and select longs, Sozzi says. Read on for a look at Sozzi's list of retail all-stars.