Friday was progressing nicely for investors in Middle Tennessee's most prominent retail stocks, which like much of the market were buoyed a better-than-expected consumer sentiment report. Then Bloomberg broke the story that Wal-Mart's February-to-date sales have, in the words of one executive, been "a total disaster" and "one of those weeks where your best-prepared plans weren’t good enough to accomplish everything you set out to do."
And poof, there went the good vibes and a lot of people were set to spend the weekend fretting (again) about consumer spending post-tax hikes. Not surprisingly, Dollar General shares suffered the most among the locals, giving up more than 4 percent in the space of a few minutes and sliding some more into the close. But Tractor Supply, Genesco and Cracker Barrel also took their lumps.
For more on Wal-Mart's sales and what they say about the broader economy, check out the discussion on Friday's Options Action on CNBC.