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Getting the Read on Retail Sales

Wednesday, 6 Oct 2010 | 6:50 PM ET

September retail sales results will be released Thursday, but analyst Colin McGranahan of Sanford C. Berstein provided a preview on Wednesday's "Fast Money."

"Back-to-school was fine. It's what happened after back-to-school that I think people are worried about," McGranahan explained. "Consumer shows up when there's an event. After that event, things get choppy, lumpy and unpredictable and we're kind of holding pattern until we get to November."

Retailers' Sales Tomorrow
Whether the data will shine a light on the back to school season, with Colin McGranahan, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst.

In other words, McGranahan doesn't think October sales will be as good as one would hope, but things could pick up in November.

McGranahan wouldn't worry about margins at this point, but noted that retailers are showing confidence by talking about having bigger inventories going into the holidays. He thinks retailers will be aggressive with inventories and if sales are choppy, there will be markdowns after the holidays.

Drakon Capital's Guy Adami asked for McGranahan's thoughts on Best Buy , which he said has been a difficult stock to read over the past quarter. McGranahan said the stock floundered and then came back thanks to a turn-around in gross margins. The Minneapolis-based retailer is "one of the best sellers of smartphones out there" and being effective this past quarter, McGranahan said no one saw this gross margins story coming.

McGranahan also shared his thoughts on Apple's iPad. Watch the video to see the full interview.

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Trader disclosure: On Oct. 6, 2010, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Colin McGranahan is long (KSS), (AMZN), (ROST), (SWY) and (GPS). Guy Adami owns (AGU), (INTC), (BTU), (NUE), (C), (GS) and (MSFT). Tim Seymour is long (AA), (AAPL), (BBY) and (MON).GE Is The Parent Company Of CNBC
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