Mall anchors Dillard's (DDS) , Nordstrom (JWN) and Macy's (M) began to warn about holiday sales before Christmas when a retail report indicated that between Thanksgiving and Dec. 19 foot traffic at malls was down 10% year over year. As 2017 began warnings became more severe as Macy's announced 68 store closures and planned layoffs of about 10,000 people.

Even the discounters suffered as Kohl's (KSS) warned on Jan. 5 and the stock plunged below its 200-day simple moving average.

Specialty retailer Limited Stores, formerly part of Victoria Secret parent L Brands (LB)  , announced it will be closing all stores.  The company was spun off from L Brands in 2007 in a leveraged buyout by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners.

Here's the scorecard for these five retailers, followed by their weekly charts and key trading levels.

 

The weekly charts show a red line through the weekly price bars, which is the key weekly moving average (a five-week modified moving average). The green line is the 200-week simple moving average considered to be the "reversion to the mean."

The study in red along the bottom of the chart is weekly momentum (a 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic), which scales between 00.00 and 100.00, where readings above 80.00 indicates overbought and readings below 20.00 indicates oversold.

A negative weekly chart shows the stock below its key weekly moving average with weekly momentum declining below 80.00 in a trend towards 20.00. A positive weekly chart shows the stock above its key weekly moving average with weekly momentum rising above 20.00 in a trend towards 80.00.

Here's the weekly chart for Dillard's.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Dillard's trades at $56, down 10.7% so far in 2017. This mall anchor set its all-time intraday high of $144.21 set on April 13, 2015. The stock is in bear market territory 36.8% below its March 10, 2016 high of $88.58. The Jan. 5 low of $55.25 is just above the May 19, 2016 low of $54.37, which is a key level to hold now.

The weekly chart for Dillard's remains negative with the stock below its key weekly moving average of $62.14, and well below its 200-week simple moving average of $90.75, last tested as the "reversion to the mean" during the week of Oct. 23, 2015 when the average of $92.11. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 32.10 this week down from 41.36 on Jan. 6.

Investors looking to buy Dillard's could have begun to do so at $55.96, which is a pivot for January. My quarterly value level lags at $36.75, so a buy between $55.96 and $54.37 should be considered bottom-fishing. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider selling strength to $89.09, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of June.

Here's the weekly chart for Nordstrom.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Nordstrom trades at close to $46, down 4.7% so far in 2017. This mall anchor set its all-time intraday high of $77.65 on March 23, 2015. The stock is in bear market territory 27.3% below its 52-week high of $62.82 set on Nov. 14, 2016. Nordstrom traded as low as $44.02 on Jan. 5, still above its June 27 intraday low of $35.01, which is a key level to hold on further weakness.

The weekly chart for Nordstrom is negative but oversold with the stock below its key weekly moving average of $50.15, and is below its 200-week simple moving average of $58.96, after being above it during the week of Dec. 16 when the average was $59.03 as the "reversion to the mean". The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 18.92 this week down from 25.44 on Jan. 6, moving below the oversold threshold of 20.00.

Investors looking to buy Nordstrom should consider buying weakness to $43.62 and $37.94, which are key levels on technical charts until the end of January and March, respectively. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider selling strength to $62.16, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of June.

Editors' note: This article has been updated to correct a previous version that stated L Brands closed its stores. Limited Stores, a company that was spun off from L Brands in 2007, closed its locations.

Here's the weekly chart for Kohl's.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Kohl's trades around $41, down 16.5% so far in 2017. Kohl's set its all-time intraday high of $79.60 back during the week of April 10, 2015. Kohl's is in bear market territory 30.9% below its 52-week high of $59.67 set on Dec. 8, 2016. The Jan. 9 low of $40.70 is above the May 12, 2016 low of $33.87, which is a key level to hold on further weakness.

The weekly chart for Kohl's is negative with the stock below its key weekly moving average of $47.40, and the stock is well below its 200-week simple moving average of $52.92. The stock was last above this "reversion to the mean" during the week of Dec. 23, 2016 on the assumption of positive holiday sales. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 39.98 down from 52.39 on Jan. 6.

Investors looking to buy Kohl's should consider doing so on weakness to the May 12 low of $33.87. I show a quarterly pivot of $41.59, which was an aggressive buy level as 2017 began. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider doing so on strength to $44.59 and $61.00, which are key level on technical charts until the end of January and until the end of June, respectively.

Here's the weekly chart for L Brands.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

L Brands trades at $61, down 6.8% so far in 2017. L Brands set its all-time intraday high of $98.68 back during the week of Nov. 6, 2015. L Brands is in bear market territory 35.1% below its 52-week high of $94.47 set on Jan. 12, 2016. The stock crashed below its 200-day simple moving average of $73.75 on Dec. 12. The Jan. 9 low of $60.66 is just above the May 19, 2016 low of $60.00, which is a key level to hold now.

The weekly chart for L Brands is negative with the stock below its key weekly moving average of $66.53. The stock is below its 200-week simple moving average of $69.73, last tested as the "reversion to the mean" during the week of Dec. 30, 2016 when the average of $69.48. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 30.60 down from 40.78 on Jan. 6.

Investors looking to buy L Brands should consider doing so on weakness to the May 19 low of $60.00. A monthly pivot of $61.85 was the first level at which to be an aggressive buyer of the stock. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider doing so on strength to $76.14, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of June.

Here's the weekly chart for Macy's.

Courtesy of MetaStock Xenith

Macy's trades at $30, down 15.4% so far in 2017. Macy's set its all-time intraday high of $73.61 back on July 17, 2015. Macy's is in bear market territory 33.4% below its 52-week high of $45.50 set on March 18, 2016, which was nearly tested with a secondary high of $45.41 on Nov. 25, when holiday sales looked promising. The stock crashed below its 200-day simple moving average of $36.94 on Dec. 22, just before Christmas. The Jan. 10 low of $30.12 is just above the May 18, 2016 low of $29.94, which is a key level to hold now.

The weekly chart for Macy's is negative with the stock below its key weekly moving average of $35.71. The stock is well below its 200-week simple moving average of $50.75, last tested as the "reversion to the mean" during the week of Nov. 6, 2015 when the average of $52.29. The weekly momentum reading is projected to decline to 23.33 down from 32.86 on Jan. 6.

Investors looking to buy Macy's should consider doing so on weakness to $24.26, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of March. A monthly pivot of $32.90 was the first level at which to be an aggressive buyer of the stock. Investors looking to reduce holdings should consider doing so on strength to $57.17, which is a key level on technical charts until the end of June.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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