Retail Surprises Next Week?

On Thursday investors will pour through same-store sales numbers hoping to find any sign of life in the economy.

There's some cautious optimism out there after earlier data showed consumer confidence rose ever so slightly in March. Investors are wondering if that modest increase will be enough to give the same-store sales numbers a small pop.

Of course, there are still plenty of factors that suggest the consumer is on life support at best. All you have to do is look at Friday's dismal employment numbers for that side of the argument.

And speaking of employment, if you go shopping you'll probably find fewer salespersons behind the counter. Retailers slashed 47,800 jobs in March and kept shuttering stores and eliminating sales staff.

Considering all these variables, what's the retail trade ahead of same-store sales?

I’m long Wal-Mart, explains Jeff Macke.

I don’t have a lot of retail exposure right now, adds Karen Finerman, except for a little Foot Locker.

The Buckle is up 60% already this year, explains Joe Terranova. On a pull back I’d buy this stock. They’re doing something right!

What’s the bottom line? Trade retail stocks cautiously ahead of same-store sales.

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Trader disclosure: On Apr 3rd, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (WFC), (AAPL), (GE), (GS), (MOS); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (AA), (EEM), (FCX), (FXI); Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (RIG); Finerman's Firm Owns (WFC) Preferred, (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Is Short (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (USO), (IWM), (BAC), (BBT), (WFC); Terranova Owns (JOYG), (X), (IBM), (XOM), (HES), (POT), (DIS), (DELL), (JPM), (INTC), (BP); Terranova Owns (COP) Calls; Terranova Owns (BRCM) & (BRCM) Calls; Terranova Owns (WYNN) & (WYNN) Calls; Terranova Owns (AMGN) & (AMGN) Puts