Shopping mall REITs' have been on the tear most of this past decade. But, according the WSJ, the shopping-mall REIT sector is up just 3.9% this year while REITs overall are up 18.2%. Office and Apartment REITs are soaring after having been hammered by the 2000-2001 recession. We have heard over again, real estate goes in cycles and it's hard for any sector to continue a winning streak forever. So what's hurting retail investments ? Consumer worries about rising interest rates, a deflating housing bubble, high gas prices and a slowing economy. Understanding the real estate cycles and following REIT performance across sectors can be one approach to determining where to place your focus on future investments.