BEAR MARKET TESTS STOCKS IN RETAIL FOOD SECTOR

The shares of supermarket companies and mass merchandisers took a beating along with many other blue chip stocks during last week's market decline.The Standard & Poor's 500 closed late last week at 1,117.58, having lost more than a quarter of its value since peaking at 1,527.46 a year ago."You used to think [supermarkets] were the safe place to be, but currently nearly all the stocks are down," said

The shares of supermarket companies and mass merchandisers took a beating along with many other blue chip stocks during last week's market decline.

The Standard & Poor's 500 closed late last week at 1,117.58, having lost more than a quarter of its value since peaking at 1,527.46 a year ago.

"You used to think [supermarkets] were the safe place to be, but currently nearly all the stocks are down," said Jack Russo, analyst with A.G. Edwards & Sons, St. Louis, last week.<

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