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Black Friday No Disaster, But Retail May Be Dead For A Bit

Retail spending for Black Friday was up 0.5 percent, about as expected. Traffic was much better than last year, but the average person in that mall spent a bit less.

Where do we go from here?

One hedge fund specialist in retail had this to say to me: "Retail is probably dead money for a month or so as a sector because the focus is shifting to next year and there isn't much of an interest in the space for the first quarter. The perception is that electronics and internet shopping did better than mall stores and dept stores."

Consumer Nation Holiday Central Edition
Consumer Nation Holiday Central Edition

Bottom line: no major surprises. Not a blowout weekend, nor was it a debacle. Traders note that we learned 6 months ago that the consumer wasn't dead, but they still are not spending wantonly.

Still, some companies like Borders (BGP, down 9 percent today ) are notably weak. No specific news for Borders, but comp sales of down 12 percent for the third quarter are pretty poor. Traders note that they lack the capital to get into electronic books so their market share will keep eroding, but they likely have enough money to stay in business.

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