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Thursday, April 8, 2010

U.S. Consumer In Q1: Shop, Shop, Shop

On Thursday, retail stocks rose to 52-week highs as retailers continue a string of strong reports on a resurgent U.S. consumer.

Gap, Ross, and Target all jumped 3% or more on their March sales which easily beat analyst expectations.

More broadly, retail firms reported that collectively their March sales rose a record 9.1%, according to Thomson Reuters data.

And the growth is broad-based. From high-end retailers like Saks Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. to deep discounters like Costco and Target Corp., revenue gains of more than 10% were commonly reported.

Target, Kohls, TJX Cos., Ross Stores Inc. and Aeropostale Inc. all raised their first-quarter earnings guidance, with Target in particular saying it would beat the consensus estimates by 10 cents a share or more.

Thursday retail results continue to paint a picture that points to very strong Q1 GDP growth.

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