Housing downturn could hit retail stocks

TORONTO — A severe drop in oil prices could strain the housing market, affecting retail stocks in 2015, says a Desjardins analyst. Keith Howlett told Financial Post that as the oil boom cools, the housing bubble could begin to burst in Alberta, spreading uncertainty among Canadian investors. According to Howlett, RONA, Sears, and Canadian Tire would feel the effect the most, while appliance and furniture retailers like Leon’s would also likely suffer.