Nordstrom reported worse than expected earnings after the bell. The company is an economic bellwether and important indicator of the health of the consumer. The line that stands out in their earnings report follows:
“Nordstrom is planning for 2010 based on recent business trends but with continuing caution about the economic environment and its impact on the customer. Although there was meaningful improvement in the latter half of 2009 that could continue in the first half of 2010, the company believes growth could moderate in the second half of 2010 as it overlaps with the improving trends from the prior year.“ (emphasis added)
The warning signs for the second half of 2010 are beginning to mount. The end of government stimulus, potential rate increases, the end of housing stimulus, a surging equity market, very high H2 earnings estimates and a potentially slowing consumer could all converge to create a messy second half of 2010.