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Given the the size of consumer spending as a portion of the US economy (between 65 and 70%, depending on who's counting), the impact of comsumer spending and sentiment weighs heavily on the market, since ultimately, economic weakness ends up being reflected in the broader market.

Recently, the numbers have been somewhat mixed, and subject to either a positive or a negative interpertation, depending on is the observer tends to seeing the "glass half full", or "half empty".

According to a report aired on Market Watch today, (Sunday), at least one large retailer isn't taking a rebound in consumer spending for granted. Market Watch announced that Toys 'R Us is instituting a "Christmas Club" program, allowing customers to deposit money into an account that will be accessible to them after October 31, the now traditional start of the holiday shopping season.

Customers will be able to deposit up to $2500 in the accounts, and will be able to earn as much as 3% in interest on the account.

Perhaps the gloom and doom crowd is all wet, and things really ARE turning around, albeit slowly, but a growing number of retailers are not entirely convinced.

Sources: Market Watch

Disclosure: No positions in any stock mentioned here

Source: Another Retailer Hedging Against the Weak Consumer