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Mulling the Market Reaction to Same-Store Sales


Results keep investors on their toes.

Editor's Note: The following was posted in real time on our premium Buzz & Banter (click for a free trial). It's being shared here for the benefit of the Minyanville community.

Hello from Midtown New York, where I'm taking partial gains on my jump to the Yankee bandwagon. I leapt on board somewhere during A-Rod's off-season torture. You don't get big moves in the Yankee's trade; I'd say I'm up 10% or so and I won't get another catalyst for a year.

As Todd-O said this morning on the Buzz, albeit in a different context, shame is a waste of time. Apply it to life and, in my experience, it's weird but not totally horrible.

Let's talk about what we learned from same-store sales this morning.

  • Shorts sort of win!

    If you stick around long enough, the market will give you a Pyrrhic victory. Such is the case this morning for shorts in Aeropostale (ARO) and the Buckle (BKE), among others this morning.

    Was it worth it? As always, it depends on when you started shorting. ARO bottomed last December at $12.75. Through October 19, the stock was up 200% from those lows. ARO is now down 20% from the highs and off 15% today. What did I mean about "Speed" and "Vigilance" in this week's Shortin' Ain't Easy video? ARO's chart explains; what I meant is it's futile to "short and hold". ARO shorts are only up on the play if they started shorting after mid-August. All other one-trade bears are candidates for the Bad Trade Prayer School ("If I can just get back to even I'll never do this again").

  • Gap wins! Traders who shorted a basket of Gap (GPS) and Aeropostale are smashing their monitors this morning and pretty much every day since they started their Texas Hedge short by shorting not one, but two specialty retailers.

    I got a lot of emails regarding shorting them individually and as a basket. ARO whiffed on SSS, the Gap actually went positive on a month for the first time since I had hair. Gap bottomed, along with most every stock except ARO, on March 9. The stock is up 130% since.

  • Nordies (JWN): the Jason Voorhees of retail! Nordstrom has been declared dead every five years or so since it was founded as a shoe store in 1901. That's more comebacks than Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, the Rolling Stones, and the central character of the Friday the 13th franchise, Jason Voorhees, combined!

    Long-time shorts who didn't declare victory and get out anywhere in the single digits or even later at the March market lows are gone and not coming back -- ever. Since March 9, JWN is up $21 bucks, or 175%. It's going to be a while before it dies again.

  • The Cozy Bosom of Middle America: Target (TGT) and Walmart (WMT). Both stocks have been trolling around the $50 level for months. You have to pay interest to be short. Save for those who go long on Margin, betting against the fly-over state staple discounters has been a money loser. QED: You're better off long than short.

For what's it worth, I'm not involved any of the retailers since I wagered long in September and sold down over the next few weeks.

Speed, Speed, Speed fellow Minyans.

No positions in stocks mentioned.

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