``With the Amazon beast breathing down their necks, the last thing struggling retailers need is a cautious U.S. consumer.  Yet, that's exactly what they have gotten in recent months -- and if it persists, retail stocks are likely to take it on the chin this summer. Real consumer spending took a nosedive in the first quarter (chart below) as consumers assessed the impact President Trump's tax reform plan. Not helping matters was a more volatile stock market, rising inflation and a cooling U.S. labor market. In turn, consumer sentiment has remained stuck in a range since February. Retail stocks have followed suit.''

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