Retail Sales Spike as Fuel Costs Ease on Wallets

The International Council of Shopping Centers (-ICSC-) published its weekly report on aggregate retail sales for the week ending June 25th. The weekly measure of comparable store sales at major retail chains is related to the general merchandise portion of retail sales, accounting for some 10 percent of total industry sales. Last week’s data showed a store sales change of +2.9% v. -.7% two weeks ago, and a store sales increase of 3% YoY. The retail measure, cited regularly as a metric providing insight towards trends in consumer spending, seems to have boosted its numbers in conjunction with retail gasoline prices that slid last week. The report noted, “Lower gas prices are encouraging consumers to spend on other goods especially seasonal goods and food.”

Here’s a look at how the positive sales data is affecting trading of popular retail stocks: American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) flat, Macy’s (NYSE:M) up 1.07%, The Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) up .23%, Abercrombie and Fitch (NYSE:ANF) up 2.3%, Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) up .54%, Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO) up .75%, JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) up .82%, Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) up .11%, Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) up 1.38%, Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN) up .53%.

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