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Amazon Masks Deepening Wounds in Retail Stocks Before Holidays

  • Department stores down 34 percent in 2015 amid flagging sales
  • One-third of large retailers poised for worst loss since '08
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Investors won’t find much to celebrate if U.S. retailers continue their descent. The megalith that is Amazon.com Inc. is overshadowing broader weakness, as one-third of large-cap stocks in the industry are heading for their worst annual losses since 2008.

From specialty apparel to department stores, 2015 is shaping up as an uncommonly bad year for stocks in the industry as consumers cut back on spending in October. Dollar Tree Inc., Macy’s Inc. and Tiffany & Co. are among 11 stocks in the 31-member Standard & Poor’s 500 Retailing Industry Group Index poised to post their biggest declines since the U.S. economy was in the midst of a recession.