October retail sales. Now that all the analysts have finished opining to their clients, it's clear there's good and bad news about the direction of retail sales.
The good news:
1) analysts continue to RAISE earnings estimates,
2) less discounting,
3) rock-bottom low inventory, and
4) some signs that the high-end consumers are coming out of their shells (Nordstrom , Saks better than expected).
The bad news:
1) expectations for the retailers are very high, with retailers outperforming since the March lows,
2) there are indications that sales fell off dramatically in the second half of October (Kohl's , JC Penney sales below expectations),
3) gas prices are stil rising, and
4) most analysts are still negative on the consumer.
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