New York – According to locally based Moody's Investors Service, the current economic slowdown is exposing weaknesses in some U.S. retailers' strategy or execution and leading to rating downgrades. Overall, according to the recently published special comment "US Retail Ratings: Where Are They Headed?" Moody's says downgrades in retail will be outpacing upgrades.

Moody's expects ratings of retailers that are maintaining a strong market position and adequate financial flexibility to remain stable throughout the economic cycle. Retailers that should be able to hold their ratings include Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp., Home Depot Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp.