(Bebe and Dress Barn news added; stock prices updated.)
NEW YORK (
) -- The lack of any key economic data and fears of this week's major retail earnings reports are combining to help keep investors away from retail stocks on Monday.
The sector was awash in red, with the S&P Retail Index down 2% to 365.89, as investors await earnings reports from major market movers like
Abercrombie & Fitch
later in the week.
One of the biggest losers of the day was
, which was
to neutral from buy, as consumers are seeking cheaper outlets like discounters and online retailers for buying their electronics.
The news sent shares of the electronic retailer down 5% to $37.75 in morning trading.
Contemporary apparel retailer
, was also downgraded by an analyst at Raymond James to underperform from market perform, sending shares plunging 10% to $6.80.
Analyst Samantha Panella said Bebe's higher prices -- such as $99-$119 jeans -- put pressure on sales.
Despite the pessimism, there were a few winners:
Barnes & Noble
saw its shares jump 8% to $25.90 after it announced the
( DBRN) was upgraded by Panella to outperform from market perform, citing the company's mid-price merchandise as recession-friendly -- although shares of Dress Barn still dragged, falling 3% to $16.10.
Shares of discounter
also climbed 7% to $13.18, while
rose 3% to $3.99.
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.