Looks Like Retail Is Shaping Up Just Fine

Retail sales gave investors a reason to cheer Monday. As it turns out, that half-glass-empty take on this sector -- that we'd see a delayed response to the end of the payroll tax holiday -- was just off base. Even the apparel category showed strength despite a less-than-cooperative month from Mother Nature. In fact, to the surprise of many, April apparel showed some of the strongest growth since last February, when summer had shown up unfashionable early.

The good news is that we're now seeing the opposite weather effect. With easier comparisons coming up for the second quarter, and with the potential for a little pent-up demand, investors may be willing to look through first-quarter results and the slew of blame-it-on-the-weather excuses. ...284 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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