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Retailers Rocked As Demand Drops, Fears In Greece Continue

|Includes: ARO, GPS, RTH, Target Corporation (TGT)

The negative news just continues to pour out around the world.  Greece continues to be in panic mode as riots and unrest signal more problems.  Questions remain on whether or not the bailout will even be enough to stop Greece from defaulting.  In addition, the social unrest could spread to other countries like Spain and Portugal.  It is highly likely at this point that the same problems in Greece will soon hit many more countries.  The Euro continues to drop sharply against the Dollar as endless bailouts mean more printing of Euros and debt.

In the United States, same store sales from many retailers were poor.  This is a quick change of events since last month, when same store sales were monstrous. It is looking more and more likely that the consumer was spending because of two years of pent up demand, not because they are back to their normal habits of 2007 and before.

Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) sales were a big disappointment as they came in with a drop of 5.9%.  Analysts had projected a drop of 2.3.%.  The stock initially fell sharply but recovered some of those losses.  It is now just down .40%.  Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE:ARO) also dissapointed with lackluster sales of a drop of 6%.

Retailers are sliding today, the retailer index, Retail HOLDRs (ETF) (NYSE:RTH) is down 1.50%.  Other leading retailer declines are coming from The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY).

In previous articles in the last month or so, I discussed how there was a likely surge in consumer spending due to pent up demand.  I theorized that once that pent up demand was let out, retail sales and consumer spending would decline sharply again.  This appears to be the case.

Gareth Soloway
Chief Market Strategist