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The Retail industry as a whole closed the day down 2.4% versus the S&P 500, which was down 1.3%. Laggards within the Retail industry included QKL Stores ( QKLS), down 1.9%, Acorn International ( ATV), down 15.4%, Liberty Interactive ( LINTB), down 3.5%, Cache ( CACH), down 14.7% and China Nepstar Chain Drugstore ( NPD), down 3.5%.

TheStreet Ratings Group would like to highlight 3 stocks that pushed the industry lower today:

Liberty Interactive ( LINTB) is one of the companies that pushed the Retail industry lower today. Liberty Interactive was down $0.99 (3.5%) to $27.62 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 1,810 shares of Liberty Interactive exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 800 shares. The stock ranged in price between $27.61-$27.66 after having opened the day at $27.61 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $28.61.

Liberty Interactive has a market cap of $868.4 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 3.6% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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At the close, Acorn International ( ATV) was down $0.17 (15.4%) to $0.93 on heavy volume. Throughout the day, 10,506 shares of Acorn International exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 7,000 shares. The stock ranged in price between $0.90-$1.05 after having opened the day at $1.05 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $1.10.

Acorn International, Inc., an integrated multi-platform marketing company, develops, promotes, and sells a portfolio of proprietary-branded products; and third parties products. The company operates two sales platforms, including integrated direct sales and a nationwide distribution network. Acorn International has a market cap of $32.0 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are down 34.5% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

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TheStreet Ratings rates Acorn International as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its disappointing return on equity and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself.

Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on ATV go as follows:

  • Return on equity has greatly decreased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of major weakness within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Internet & Catalog Retail industry and the overall market, ACORN INTERNATIONAL INC -ADR's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • ATV has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 11.85% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
  • ACORN INTERNATIONAL INC -ADR has improved earnings per share by 15.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has not demonstrated a clear trend in earnings over the past 2 years, making it difficult to accurately predict earnings for the coming year. During the past fiscal year, ACORN INTERNATIONAL INC -ADR reported poor results of -$1.45 versus -$0.59 in the prior year.
  • The revenue fell significantly faster than the industry average of 16.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues fell by 44.8%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.
  • 39.76% is the gross profit margin for ACORN INTERNATIONAL INC -ADR which we consider to be strong. Regardless of ATV's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, ATV's net profit margin of -28.10% significantly underperformed when compared to the industry average.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: Acorn International Ratings Report

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QKL Stores ( QKLS) was another company that pushed the Retail industry lower today. QKL Stores was down $0.04 (1.9%) to $2.07 on light volume. Throughout the day, 500 shares of QKL Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,500 shares. The stock ranged in price between $2.07-$2.16 after having opened the day at $2.16 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $2.11.

QKL Stores Inc., together with its subsidiaries, operates a supermarket chain in northeastern China and Inner Mongolia. QKL Stores has a market cap of $3.3 million and is part of the services sector. Shares are up 8.2% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

TheStreet Ratings rates QKL Stores as a sell. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity, poor profit margins and weak operating cash flow.

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Highlights from TheStreet Ratings analysis on QKLS go as follows:

  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Food & Staples Retailing industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 223.9% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from -$1.69 million to -$5.48 million.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio of 1.45 is relatively high when compared with the industry average, suggesting a need for better debt level management. To add to this, QKLS has a quick ratio of 0.52, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Food & Staples Retailing industry and the overall market, QKL STORES INC's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for QKL STORES INC is rather low; currently it is at 16.80%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of -8.96% is significantly below that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has declined marginally to -$3.29 million or 3.71% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, when comparing to the industry average, the firm's growth rate is much lower.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: QKL Stores Ratings Report

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