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Best of the Blogs, Consumer: Retail Gets a Boost From Back-to-School Sales


Plus, should you pre-order the iPhone 5?


This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on consumer stocks and companies from around the Web.

123 Jump
Link: Strong Back-to-School Retail Sales in August
"Retailers reported the strongest monthly sales increase since March as consumers looked for retail bargains and students head back to schools.

"The apparel retailers show strong and sustained increase across all price points and across various regions in the nation despite the high unemployment and rising retail gasoline prices."

Link: Apple iPhone 5 Faces Supply Constraints as Consumer Attitude Shifts
"If you're one of the thousands of iPhone owners selling their smartphone to make way for the introduction of Apple's (AAPL) new iPhone (5) then you'd better get ready to make your pre-orders as soon as you can, as it seems possible supply will be constrained."

News Today Digest
Link: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Improving the Experience of Customers with New Business Innovations
"There are some key step that were taken by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) in the last week aiming to exploit its business capabilities.

"To improve its business abilities, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is getting into the search business, to compete not only with existing rivals like Google Inc. (GOOG), but with e-commerce opponent, Inc. (AMZN)."

Seeking Alpha
Link: Amazon Primed For A Big Drop As Growth Slows
", Inc. (AMZN) has recently been testing the $250 level (a new all-time high). With the company projected to earn less than $1/share in 2012, Amazon has understandably been targeted by numerous bears as a monster short opportunity. However, investors shorting the stock have not been rewarded thus far. While the stock pulled back last fall, it has since recouped those losses, and the 5-year chart is impressive."

The Consumerist
Link: Microsoft Updates Service Agreement to Make It Easier To Read the New Mandatory Binding Arbitration Clause.
"While we appreciate that Microsoft (MSFT) has made its online services agreement much easier to read, the update comes with a questionable addition: a shiny new mandatory binding arbitration clause with class action waiver. The clause states that you agree to settle any legal disputes (except intellectual property rights disputes) in either the small claims court in your county of residence or Microsoft's, or through the arbitration procedure outlined in the agreement. Microsoft announced that this change was coming awhile back, and has already added similar language to its XBOX Live service."

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