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Canaccord Genuity on XRT, KOL, and Monsanto

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US retailers post mixed sales growth in September, shares of coal company stocks shoot higher, and Monsanto Q4 results come in slightly below consensus.

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The following are excerpts from Canaccord Genuity analysts' commentaries.

SPDR Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT): Step it into second gear, JLo!

US retailers posted mixed sales growth in September as consumers wrapped up back-to-school shopping and held off on buying big-ticket items before the holiday season. All in, sales at the 17 stores releasing sales numbers rose by 3.6%, in line with analyst estimates, with department stores coming in below expectations, and apparel retailers topping them. Target (NYSE: TGT), Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) and Macy's (NYSE:M) saw sales grow short of estimates, which Kohl's (NYSE:KSS) posted a wider than expected loss.

Target also said that it will stop reporting monthly sales next year, following a decision that Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) made over a year ago. Gap (NYSE:GPS) posted a 6% sales increase versus the consensus of 5.3%, driven by strength at all three of its North American Brands – Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX), parent of TJ Maxx, posted a 6% increase, topping expectations, and reiterated its QE earnings guidance, with TJX Europe seeing a whopping 13% increase. Other retailers beating expectations included Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD), parent of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, Wet Seal (NASDAQ:WTSLA), and Zumiez (NASDAQZUMZ).

Market Vector Coal ETF (NYSEARCA:KOL) The Romney Rally?

Shares of coal company stocks shot higher Thursday, following the US presidential debate where candidate Mitt Romney expressed his support for the coal industry. Romney, former head of Bain Capital, said, "By the way, I like coal. I'm going to make sure we can continue to burn clean coal." He went on to say to President Barack Obama, "People in the coal industry feel like its getting crushed by your policies.

" A Stern Agee analyst commented, "It's amazing what 15 words about coal in a presidential debate can do for the stocks. These stocks have been volatile, but you can't discount what a man running for president said about coal. Call it the Romney rally." Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), which one Wall Street analyst notes has more leverage than most in the domestic thermal coal market, was the biggest gainer of the day, with peers Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR), Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) and Consol Energy (NYSE:CNX) also taking part in the rally.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
Canaccord Financial and its affiliated companies may have a Corporate Finance or other relationship with the companies mentioned and may trade in any of the Designated  Investments mentioned herein either for their own account or the accounts of their customers, in good faith and in the normal course of market making. The authors have not received, and will not receive, compensation that is directly based upon or linked to one or more specific Corporate Finance activities, or to coverage herein.
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