AHEAD OF THE TAPE: Retail Head Fake (Wall St. Journal)
Summary: Falling gasoline prices and cool weather brought shoppers into many national retailers like Kohl's (KSS). Kohl's reported on Tuesday that its same-store sales increased 16.3% from last year, significantly beating analysts expectations. Most stores announce monthly sales today; analysts are looking for an average 5.1% gain. But Wal-Mart (WMT) same store sales increased only 1.3% from last year. (The company revised down its estimate from the 1.8% number it issued only five days earlier due to discovery of an error.) The lack of hurricane activity could be blamed for this diminished growth, as the bulk of last year's sales were from Southern customers stocking up before and after the big storms.
Related links: Full article • Bloomberg article on Wal-Mart same store sales revision • Kohl's Introduces New Store and Apparel Designs • Discount Retailer Operating Income Growth
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Vanguard Consumer Discretionary VIPERs (VCR), Costco (COST), Target (TGT), Federated Department Stores (FD), JC Penney (JCP).
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