While a few months of missed results could be explained by saying consumers are going on vacation rather than buying new clothes, four misses simply cannot be explained in this manner, he said on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime Report" Wednesday. Instead, consumers are saving more of their income and paying down debt, which is good for long-term growth. However, it will have a negative impact on 2015 GDP, Lebenthal said.
While the results are disappointing, it's not necessarily something to concern investors too much, said Pete Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com. With the S&P 500 up nearly 2% for the year to date, investors are buying although the index is currently down by a fraction of a percentage point.
Investors should also remember that gasoline prices are rising and likely weighing on retail sales, added Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com.
Ritholtz Wealth Management's CEO and co-founder Josh Brown agreed, adding the retail sales result is "not necessarily the bible" when it comes to consumer spending. More consumers are spending on Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX), taking vacations and going out to dinner.
Brown continued that electronics sales are "through the roof" while department store sales are underperforming. He also cited sporting events, pointing out consumers are willing to pay up to six times face value for tickets to attend the National Hockey League playoffs. Events, services and entertainment are more important than buying a new outfit for many people, he said.