A Consumer/Retail Outlook

We're a few weeks into September and back-to-school shopping is becoming a memory for many -- that is, at least until they get their credit card statement from Visa (V), MasterCard (MA) or American Express (AXP). According to data from the National Retail Federation, August retail sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations and restaurants) increased a seasonally adjusted 0.1% from last month and increased 3.9% unadjusted year over year.

Stronger performers included building materials and garden equipment stores, which means Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW), as well as electronics and appliance stores like Best Buy (BBY), owing to back-to-school. Furniture and home furnishings as well as sporting goods, book and music store sales were also among the stronger performers on a year-over-year basis. That's good news for Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), Hibbett Sports (HIBB), Ethan Allen (ETH), Basset Furniture (BSET) and others....344 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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