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October Retail Sales—The Good, Bad and Ugly?

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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