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Retail: 3 Stocks To Watch

Retail sales in April are expected to show a slight improvement from an abysmal March as warmer weather drove demand for spring merchandise, but Wall Street still expects signs of weakness at department stores.

Many retailers have been struggling in recent months as cash-strapped consumers pull back on nonessential items like furniture, clothes and jewelry due to soaring food and gasoline prices.

By contrast, analysts expect chains that sell necessities like food and milk at discount prices to be among the standouts on Thursday when many companies report monthly same-store sales, a key measure of retail health.

Which stocks could move on the results? Jon Najarian reveals what he’s watching.

Wal-Mart

I think Wal-Mart is the best company in its space. And options action suggests it could go higher, says Najarian.

I also like this stock, says Karen Finerman. I certainly wouldn’t short it.

Aeropostale

This company is brining people into the stores and they’re coming out with more than they expected to buy. The stock is near its 52-week high yet options action is bullish, explains Najarian.

I can’t get long specialty retail, counters Jeff Macke. It’s where love goes to die!

Costco

Watch this stock, counsels Jon Najarian. I think expectations are too high. Options action suggests to me it’s headed lower.













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Trader disclosure: On May 7, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders: Adami Owns (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (AGU), (NUE), (BTU); Pete Najarian owns (AAPL), (C) Calls, (ENER), (MSFT) Calls, (TSO), (XLF), (YHOO) Calls; Macke Owns (INTC), (DIS0, (ATVI), (MSFT); Finerman’s Firm is Short (IYR), (IJR), (SPY), (MDY), (IWM), Owns SPX Index Puts, (AEO), (MSFT), (NYX), (PLCE), (TSO), (VLO), (YHOO) and (YHOO) Call Spreads, Finerman Owns (GS), Finerman and Finerman’s Firm Own (C)

Jon Najarian Is Short (PSUN); Jon Najarian Owns (WMT)

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