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Consumers Shop, and Retail Stocks Don’t Drop

Another strong round of retail sales came in this morning, with broad gains across the board in February despite wintry weather throughout much of the Midwest and East Coast.

In fact, according to Retail Metrics, February same-store sales had their strongest growth in over 2 years (up 4.1% last month). Furthermore, 78% of retailers saw sales top analyst expectations – significantly higher than the norm. Helping stores last month were strong Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day sales.

While retailers saw great sales in February, their stocks have seen impressive gains over the past month. The S&P Retail Index (.RLX) is hitting new a 52-week high and is approaching its highest levels in nearly 2 years. In fact, the index was one of the top sectors last month.

As the consumers keep shopping, retail stocks have been benefiting.

Take a look at how shares across a broad range of retail stocks have performed since February 1:

Office Depot up 30%
Abercrombie & Fitch up 28%
Macy’s up 25%
JCPenney up 18%
Gap up 15%
Tiffany up 12%
* Nordstrom up 11%
* Pier 1 up 37%
* Big Lots up 25%
* Limited up 20%
* Family Dollar up 14%
* Home Depot up 12%

*Denotes stock is also hitting a 52-week high

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BIG
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GPS
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HD
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JCP
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JWN
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LB
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M
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ODP
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PIR
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TIF
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