The buzz in the retail sector heading into December

|By:, SA News Editor

Retail Metrics: The retail industry specialist expects chain stores to report a 1.1% increase in comparable sales during November. The estimate on October retail comparable sales was revised up to 1.5% from 1.0%. Both marks arrive against a deflation and low traffic headwind in the sector.

NPD Group: The research firm plays meteorologist by warning that the lack of "true" winter weather will hit some apparel and shoe sellers.

FBR Capital: The firm points to a strong month for Bath & Body Works (NYSE:LB).

Piper Jaffray: The retail analyst team is cautiously optimistic that Costco (NASDAQ:COST) is off to a good start.

November has been a stellar month for Target (NYSE:TGT) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), up 16% and 18% respectively. Both retailers trade with a ~14 forward PE ratio which has some traders buzzing that's still room left to run.

Amazon dominated a lot of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday talk, but it was Wayfair (W +4.6%) that may have posted the most impressive online sales growth vs. expectations. Shares of Wayfair are still 28% below their 52-week high, although valuation isn't for the feint of heart.

At home on Seeking Alpha, there's been some good discusssion on the impact of the reduction of SNAP benefits (nutrition assistance) in the U.S. on the retail sector. Tomorrow's earnings report from Dollar General (NYSE:DG) and the firm's conference call Q&A could shine a light on that wildcard.

Retail ETFs: XLY, XRT, VCR, RTH, RETL, FXD, FDIS, RCD, PMR, CNDF, FTXD, JHMC, IBUY.

Previously: Black Friday channel checks show pockets of strength (Nov. 28)

Previously: Department store sales in positive territory for November (Nov. 29)

Previously: Cyber Monday wrap and retail outperformers (Nov. 29)