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The Wall Street Journal reports that “investors once attracted to the steady payouts of companies selling staples like breakfast cereal, toothpaste and razors are shopping elsewhere,” as many investors “remain skeptical of the companies’ ability to cope with rising costs, as well as to fend off online competitors like Amazon.com Inc.”

According to the story, “The sector’s underperformance comes as a surprise to analysts who had expected signs of a pickup in inflation to drive investors into shares of businesses that sell household goods and basic necessities: products that consumers would typically be willing to buy, even when rising prices crimp their spending elsewhere. Instead, companies competing with discount retailers are struggling to raise prices for their marquee products - something recent earnings reports show has become a growing headwind for their businesses.”

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