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Will Rising Gas Prices Spoil Retail Sales Results?

Rising gasoline prices could drag down retail stocks ahead of monthly sales figures, especially as fuel costs average $3.80 per gallon, up 50 cents year to date and up 30 cents over the past month.

“I think it’s a potential headwind, for sure,” Karen Finerman of Metropolitan Capital Advisors said Monday on “Fast Money.”

Value shoppers could be disproportionately hit by higher prices at the pump, meaning pressure on retailers such as Wal-Mart.

“If we see higher prices as a result of the economy gathering strength and getting some momentum, then they’ll be OK,” Finerman said. “I’m a little worried about that customer.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce will release retail sales figures for February, which are expected to be positive.

“Candidly, I think this environment still works for Costco,” said Drakon Capital’s Guy Adami.

Costco shares closed at a 52-week high of $89.59, and Adami said he would “nibble” at it on a pull-back to the mid-$80 level.

Trader Joe Terranova thought other economic indicators such as car sales and industrial production would bode well for retail sales.

“Tomorrow, you may get print above 1 percent,” he said. “We haven’t had something like that over the last five months.”

Terranova called Dunkin’ Brands “a great tell on what’s going on here for the consumer” and said he liked Armstrong Worldwide.

“I think that’s a name you could look at,” he said.

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Trader disclosure: On March 12, 2012, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Terranova is long VRTS; Terranova is long NXPI; Terranova is long IBM; Terranova is long MCD; Terranova is long EMC; Terranova is long MSFT; Terranova is long GS; Terranova is long JOY; Terranova is long OXY; Terranova is long LQD; Terranova is short GOOG; Terranova is short April Gold futures; Terranova is short May Silver futures; Adami is long C; Adami is long GS; Adami is long INTC; Adami is long AGU; Adami is long NUE; Adami is long BTU; Najarian is long AAPL call spreads; Najarian is long GS call spreads; Najarian is long IBM call spreads; Najarian is long WNR call spreads; Najarian is long RIG call spreads; Najarian is long WDC call spreads; Najarian is long CCL call spreads; Najarian is long HTZ call spreads; Nations is long C; Nations is long BAC;

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