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5 Stock Ratings and Outlook: Retail Analyst

A woman makes a shopping list in front of a department store's Christmas window display.
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A woman makes a shopping list in front of a department store's Christmas window display.

U.S. retailers posted much weaker-than-expected sales for November, as shoppers focused only on big bargains at the start of the key holiday selling season. Charles Grom, broadline retail analyst at JPMorgan, shared his industry outlook.

“I’m not trying to look at the glass too half-full: the numbers today weren’t good,” Grom told CNBC.

“But that was expected by the Street—nobody was expecting good numbers today.”

Grom said the first three weeks of November were very weak across the board, up until even a few days into the fourth week.

“Black Friday and Saturday thereafter seemed to be almost exceptionally strong across the board,” he said.

“Particularly on the Internet side: double-digit increases at a lot of the retailers.”

Grom said economists should compare the retail sales numbers based on a 4-year calendar.

“There are a couple calendar shifts back in 2007 that make the comparison very difficult,” he said.

Consumer Nation Holiday Central Edition
Consumer Nation Holiday Central Edition

“So instead of looking at it on a 2-year, we recommend looking at it on a 4-year. It gets a little convoluted, but at the end of the day, the numbers are not that much different than the prior quarter trend.”

Grom has an "overweight" rating on Costco , Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart .

He has a "neutral" rating on BJ'sWholesale and Family Dollar Store .

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Disclosures:

Grom has investment banking clients who own shares of BJ, COST, FDO, JCP, KSS, KR, M, JWN, RDK, SWY, SVU, TGT, WMT.

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