Jobs & Retail Sales Impacted by Weather

It's not just jobs that may be impacted by the bad weather...imagine what this is doing to retail sales. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) numbers declined 1 percent in the last week of January; this follows a 1.2 percent decline the previous week.

Remember, the end of January was the end of the calendar year for most big retailers, so a notable slowdown in the final two weeks could have a significant impact on topline.

There's other problems for retailers as well: tougher comps, higher gas prices, and higher raw materials costs.

With all those issues, the trading community will be focusing on full year 2011 prospects when retailers begin reporting...Nordstrom one of the first retailers to report, on February 17.

Still, somebody's always making a buck off everyone else's misery...just look at Copart , the largest provider of auction services for buyers and sellers of salvage motor vehicles. They jumped in January and are near 3-year highs; analysts are noting that the massive snowstorms this month and last will resulted in lots more accidents, boosting the damaged vehciles sold at Copart auctions.

Another company, LKQ, is sitting at an HISTORIC HIGH today; they're the largest provider of recycled auto parts in the country. More collisions = more demand for recycled auto parts.

Finally, this gem from the U.K.:

British Immigration Officer Puts Wife On No Fly List

An officer with the UK Border Agency has been dismissed after it emerged that he had placed his wife on a no-fly list.

The man used his access to the security databases to put his wife on the list of people who could not fly into the United Kingdom.

This meant that for three years the woman could not return to the United Kingdom from Pakistan.

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