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Market Update

Have Patience When Shopping for Retail Bargains

This year's sell-off in the sector has way to go to create steals.

It has been a rough year for retail stocks, but not rough enough to go bargain-hunting yet, observers say.

On a market-capitalization-weighted basis, the average retail-sector stock in Morningstar.com's database was off 22.2% through Tuesday. They probably fell even more Wednesday after sizable losses by sector heavyweights Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Home Depot (HD). The Standard & Poor's Retail Stores Composite, which includes all of the retailers in the S&P 500 Index, also is down for the year, off nearly 19% through Tuesday.