Following the long Memorial Day weekend, more retail stocks were down than up on Tuesday, May 29, but the changes were slight.

The Dow Jones Jones Retail Average closed down .21%.

Here's a quick look at some key stocks in the sector: 

Clothing Wars

The Ascena Retail Group Inc. (ASNA) - Get Report , which owns Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant, was up more than 5% and Macy's (M) - Get Report  gained over 2%. The biggest laggard was Swedish clothing retailer H&M (H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB), down 1.78%, followed by Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL) - Get Report , which slipped 1.29%, and Nordstrom Inc. (JWN) - Get Report and TJX Companies Inc. (TJX) - Get Report , both down, 0.2%. Ralph Lauren has been struggling of late, yet H&M may have been pulled down by the Italian political crisis.

What else could be dragging on retail stocks? Perhaps the uncertainty of President Trump's latest announcement that the U.S. plans impose tariffs of 25% on $50 billion of Chinese imports and will name the companies on June 15. Retailers are in a wait-and-see mode for now, but are forming their Plan B's by exploring new suppliers in other countries to replace those in China.

Drugstore Blues

The drugstore sector swung down largely on bad news in spades for one of its players. 

Fred's Inc. (FRED)   was bumped out of the S&P Dow Jones Indices on Friday, May 25, due to changes in capital requirements in the S&P SmallCap 600. Adding insult to injury to the company were the recent loss of three board members and an investigation into whether it is violating federal securities laws. Its larger competitors, Walgreen Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) - Get Report and CVS Health Corp. (CVS) - Get Report  were impacted and their stocks were down by 1.38% and 2.21% respectively. Fred's shares closed down 8% during trading, but then rebounded more than 3% in after-hours trading

Nordstrom Inc  is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio
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