The good news:
--Sales exceeded low expectations
--Average expenditure per shopper was higher than expected: $372.57 (up 7.2%)
Now the bad news:
--The numbers may not be as strong as they appear; Thanksgiving is later this year, and the shopping season is 5 days shorter.
--Sales appear to have come at the expense of margins;
--Gift card sales were down 10 percent.
This may be why the National Retail Federation, despite the strong sales, is sticking with its expectation that sales will rise 2.2 percent this holiday season.
Not surprisingly, retail stocks are selling off along with the rest of the market--in fact retail stocks have given up about one-third of the gains made in the past week and a half. Why?
Just look at Limited : it rose 31 percent in the last week and a half! Little wonder that Citigroup cut its rating on it today due to valuation!
- US Retail Stocks Fall on Holiday Shopping Worries
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