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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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.