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Consumer Cos Down as Traders Hedge on Spending -- Consumer Roundup

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02/11/2019 | 05:05pm EDT

Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies declined as traders hedged their bets on the outlook for consumer spending. Restaurant Brands International shares rose after the Burger King owner reported quarterly operating profit ahead of some analysts' expectations. Consumer companies that sell into the Chinese market have sounded a different note to tech and industrial companies when it comes to demand, according to one brokerage. "In China segment growth, commentary remains split (positive/negative) among the roughly 80 companies that mentioned China trends" on quarterly earnings calls among the Standard & Poor's 500 corporations, said analysts at brokerage Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research. "Cyclical sectors (Industrials, Materials, and Tech) have been hurt by slowing trends, but Health Care and Consumer companies touted strength in the region -- in particular, apparel/luxury brands see high demand in China."

-Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

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