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Two Ways To Play: Retail in Retreat


Strengthen your portfolio in good times and bad.


'Twas the Day After Christmas...

Early holiday results are in for retailers and they aren't pretty. Deep discounts and last- minute shoppers failed to revive the season, with sales shrinking across most categories, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In data provided by MasterCard's SpendingPulse, total year-over-year sales, excluding automobiles, dropped 5.5% in November and plunged 8% in December. Excluding the decline in gasoline sales, the numbers are little easier to stomach - down 2.5% in November and 4% in December.

From the Bull Pen
: Companies like Dollar Tree (DLTR) are the ones with the right business models as we head into a challenging 2009. One might be able to catch this stock on a pullback to the $38-$40 area.

From the Bear Cave: The news is worst near the bottom, and luxury retailers could still see a countertrend rally. But bears willing to test the downside can consider a stock like Tiffany (TIF) if it can rally to $25, which could also mark the completion of a bearish head-and- shoulders formation.

Quick Check Around the World

Asian trading closed with the Nikkei +1.63%, Sensex -2.51%, Taiwan +0.26% and Shanghai -0.05%.

European markets are closed.

As of 8:15 a.m. EST, S&P futures are trading +6 to 871.60, and Nasdaq futures are +8 to 1188.

A Look At Commodities

Crude oil is trading +0.93 to 36.28 Gold is +1.40 to 849.40. Silver is +0.25 to 10.370, and copper is +.1000 to 127.50.

The dollar index is -0.360 to 81.615.

No events on the radar today.

Good luck and have a great day!

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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