Consumer discretionary stocks have been leading the decliners in the U.S. stock market, resulting in a downfall for retailers and other consumer companies.

According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, the consumer discretionary sector has been the most shorted stock sector in the U.S. for the past 18 months. In fact, more than half of the 20 most-shorted S&P 500 companies are from this sector, with healthcare following closely behind.

Ralph Lauren, a prominent player in the industry, currently holds the top spot as the most shorted stock within the large-cap index as of mid-July, with a short interest of 14.55%, as reported by S&P.

Foreign Homebuying in the U.S. Continues to Decline

It seems that the trend of foreign buyers purchasing U.S. homes is on a downward spiral, marking the sixth consecutive year of decline and reaching an all-time low. However, some signs of a possible turnaround are starting to emerge.

According to the National Association of Realtors, international buyers purchased 84,600 U.S. homes in the year ending in March, which reflects a 14% decrease compared to the previous year.

Diageo Reports Flat Sales and Decline in Market Share

Diageo, known for its popular brands such as Johnnie Walker scotch and Smirnoff vodka, has reported flat annual sales in North America. The company attributes this to a slowdown in sales growth for bottles priced at $50 and above during the fiscal year ending on June 30.

Additionally, Diageo mentioned a slight decline in its share of the U.S. spirits market. However, it is important to note that Diageo focuses more on upscale alcohol compared to its competitors.

Altria Group Performs Above Expectations

Altria Group, the manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes in the U.S., has surpassed analysts’ expectations with its latest financial results. The company has been diversifying its product portfolio by expanding into other offerings.

Cruise Stocks Experience Decline

Cruise stocks have taken a hit, particularly Norwegian Cruise Line, which reported a disappointing third-quarter outlook. This news has left investors concerned about the future of the industry.

SeaWorld Attendance Drops Amidst Summer Heat

SeaWorld Entertainment has reported a decline in attendance during the second quarter due to the scorching summer heat. This unfavorable weather condition deterred some visitors from attending the company’s theme parks, impacting their crucial peak period.

Toyota Motor Sees Significant Profit Growth

Toyota Motor has experienced an impressive 78% increase in net profit for the first quarter compared to the same period last year. This growth can be attributed to an easing chip shortage and increased sales across various markets.

Ford’s F-150 Lightning Production Resumes with Increased Demand

Ford’s factory responsible for manufacturing the F-150 Lightning has recommenced production after undergoing an overhaul. The recent price cuts on the electric pickup truck have sparked a surge in new orders, showcasing a positive response from consumers.

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