The retail industry closed the day down 0.4%. Whirlpool Corporation ( WHR), Bon-Ton Stores Inc ( BONT), Bidz.com Inc ( BIDZ), and Wet Seal Inc ( WTSLA) were all decliners today within the retail industry with Lowe's Companies Inc ( LOW) being today's featured retail loser. Lowe's Companies Inc fell 53 cents (-2.4%) to $21.37 on average volume. Throughout the day, 14.4 million shares of Lowe's Companies Inc exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 17.8 million shares.

Lowe's Companies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a home improvement retailer. The company offers a range of products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, home decorating, and property maintenance. Lowe's Companies Inc has a market cap of $27.1 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.6, above the average retail industry P/E ratio of 14.5 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 12.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lowe's Companies as a hold. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share and attractive valuation levels. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, poor profit margins and generally poor debt management.

On the positive front, Stamps.com Inc ( STMP), E-Commerce China Dangdang Inc ( DANG), Talbots Inc ( TLB), and Christopher & Banks Corporation ( CBK) were all gainers within the retail industry with Amazon.com Inc ( AMZN) being today's featured retail industry winner.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the retail industry could consider SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT) while those bearish on the retail industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).
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