Jay Soloff

Are Americans getting ready to spend money this holiday season? According to today's release of retail sales, momentum seems to be heading that direction. October's retail sales increased by 0.4%, the biggest increase since June. Economists expected a 0.1% increase, so the number far exceeded expectations. In fact, one of the only categories seeing lower spending was gasoline - but that has everything to do with lower gas prices and likely nothing to do with demand. Take out gas prices and retail sales look even stronger at 0.5%. Now, the key question is can this spending turnaround continue into the holiday season? We'll soon have a better idea of how zealous American shoppers will be this year with Black Friday and Cyber Monday rapidly approaching. Stay tuned. Here's the link to the retail sales report: (VIEW LINK)


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Hock Meng Tay

Lots of US retailers are opening their stores on Thanksgiving Day. However, heavy discounts might hurt retailer margins. Same store sales (SSS) for JCP appeared to be showing a turnaround. Could be an interesting retail season to watch.

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