Two Ways: Retailers Make it Rain in April
Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.
Most of the nation's retailers reported same-store sales for April yesterday. Tax rebates, holiday sales and warm weather all helped boost retail transactions to their largest monthly gain since last summer. According to the Wall Street Journal, discounters like Wal-Mart (WMT) and drugstore chains paved the way. The luxury sector continued to suffer.
Noteworthy are sales figures at lower-end department stores like J.C. Penney (JCP), which reported a 1.5% drop at stores open for at least a year. Compared with March's 15% plunge, it's a significant improvement that could be signaling consumers' new willingness to spend beyond discount chains.
See Professor Jeff Macke's take in Should You Buy Retail (Stocks)?
From the Bull Pen: Professor Macke mentioned Amazon (AMZN). It doesn't release same- store sales, but it's on the buy list simply because it's the best merchant operating. Passive investors can set an initial position here - and add on weakness toward $75. Sell stops can be set below that level.
From the Bear Cave: Bears can look to CVS Caremark (CVS). The spike top and downside follow-through is giving bears confidence as a short play. Those willing to test the downside can set a tight buy stop near $32.50.
Quick Check Around the World
Asian trading closed with the Hang Seng 1.00%, India -1.98%, Nikkei 0.50%, Shanghai 1.09% and Taiwan 0.17%.
Glancing towards Europe, we see the CAC 2.57%, DAX 2.89%, FTSE 1.75%
As of 8:10 AM EST, S&P Futures are trading +12 to 919.00, and Nasdaq futures are +11 to 1406.00.
A Look at Commodities
Over in commodities, crude oil is trading +1.27 to 57.98 while gold is +1.20 at 916.70 this morning. Silver is -0.150 to 13.87 and copper +0.95 to 217.50.
The dollar index is -0.3700 to 83.7350.
On the Radar
08:30 Average Workweek 33.2
08:30 Hourly Earnings 0.2%
08:30 Nonfarm Payrolls -620K
08:30 Unemployment Rate 8.9%
10:00 Wholesale Inventories -1.0%
Happy Friday! Good luck and have a great weekend!
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