Retail sales solid for July, but Wal-Mart still to weigh in

|By:, SA News Editor

Retail sales beat expectations in July after backing out auto sales to show the strongest gain of the year.

Restaurants (CAKE, CBRL, CMG, DNKN, DPZ, DRI, EAT, JACK, MCD, PNRA, RRGB, RT, SBUX, SONC, WEN, BWLD, THI, BDL, NATH, CEC, LUB, BKW, CHUY, BLMN, PZZA, TXRH, DENN, KKD, BBRG, DFRG, BOBE, RUTH, IRG, DIN) showed some strength during the month, rising 0.6% after an alarming 0.5% drop in June.

Despite the largely positive reading on retail sales, the dominant event for retail this week will come from Bentonville, Arkansas when Wal-Mart (WMT -0.6%) reports Q2 earnings and offers up some hints about Q3.