Kieran Salsone

Myer shares tank

SHARES of Myer touched a record low and David Jones stock hit their lowest since March 2009 after Goldman Sachs analysts cut their rating on the two department store operators and predicted the retail slump would drag into next year.

The investment bank said both retailers would suffer from weak sales and lower profit growth for the rest of this financial year because consumer spending appeared likely to remain weak.

Goldman's retail analyst, Phillip Kimber, cut the bank's rating on Myer from ''buy'' to 'hold,'' while the David Jones was downgaded from ''hold'' to ''sell.''

Myer shares had recovered to end the day up 1 cent for the day, or 0.5 per cent, to 199 cents. Earlier, though, they fell as low as 195.5 cents - their lowest since the company relisted in late October 2009 at $4.10 each.

David Jones shares were down as much as 6 cents, or 2.5 per cent, to $2.39, their lowest level in about 33 months. The overall share market is up about 1 per cent for the day.
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The Goldman downgrade caps off a horror stretch for retail stocks, which have been battered after profit downgrades from JB Hi-Fi, Billabong and Kathmandu.