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Retail Sales Blow (December)

Retail Sales Blow (December)

Courtesy of Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker

Retailers Offer After-Christmas Sales

Interesting report….

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for December, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $353.0 billion, a decrease of 0.3 percent (±0.5%)* from the previous month, but 5.4 percent (±0.5%) above December 2008. Total sales for the 12 months of 2009 were down 6.2 percent (±0.2%) from 2008. Total sales for the October through December 2009 period were up 1.9 percent (±0.3%) from the same period a year ago.

Now remember, Census has some funny methodology in that they don’t count sales unless both the prior and current month is returned by the same store.  This means they overstate sales during declines in the economy, and understate them during expansions.

Looking inside the report we see a number of surprises in the year-over-year numbers.

Electronics were down – so much for the so-called "strong Christmas sales" in that category that everyone on ToutTV has been crowing about.

Food and beverage purchases were up – price inflation?

Gasoline was up huge, accounting for a huge percentage of the year/over/year increase all on its own.  Gee, that happens when the gas price goes up a lot, right?

Indeed, while there were positive changes in other categories (online was up 10%, as just one example) gasoline sales increased in dollar volume by thirty-four percent and accounted for a stunning $8.7 billion of the total $17.9 billion increase – roughly half.

What’s there to like in here?  I say "little or nothing" – gas sale increases are not positive, they’re negative as most gasoline demand is inelastic (you need it to get to work) as is food. 

The bright lights, such as they were, had clothing up 5% and general merchandise up 2%, both annualized.

Rather uninspiring when one considers that the inelastic components were the big movers on the positive side and that’s not good for discretionary spending capacity.

 


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Retail Sales Strong in November

Overview of retail sales in November. On the surface, retail sales exceeded expectations, but there are a few underlying problems--for instance, increases in gasoline prices, sampling changes, and an unclear effect of a seasonal adjustment. - Ilene

Retail Sales Strong in November

Courtesy of Jake at Econompic Data

Retail Sales Rise More Than Expected For Month Of November

ABC News:

Sales at U.S. retailers rose more than expected in November as consumers spent more on gasoline and a wide range of other goods, data showed on Friday, raising hopes of a self-sustaining economic recovery.

The Commerce Department said total retail sales increased 1.3 percent last month, the largest advance since August, after rising by a downwardly revised 1.1 percent in October. It was the second straight monthly gain. Sales in October were previously reported to have increased 1.4 percent.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales gaining 0.7 percent last month. Overall sales in November were boosted by strong receipts from gasoline stations, increased purchases of motor vehicles and parts, building materials and electronic goods among others. Gasoline sales surged 6 percent, the largest increase since June.

Compared to November last year, sales were up 1.9 percent, the first year-on-year gain since August 2008, a Commerce official said.

 

Source: Census

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Retail sales continue to rise

Courtesy of Tim Iacono at The Mess That Greenspan Made 

The Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose more than expected last month, up 1.3 percent in November after a gain of 1.1 percent in October. The November gain was the biggest increase since a 2.4 percent surge in August and brings the year-over-year change (unadjusted for inflation) back into positive territory for the first time in 15 months.

This came as something of a surprise to analysts because retailers across the country had been reporting lackluster sales during the holiday shopping season so far.



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Though the overall increase was paced by a 6.0 percent gain in gasoline station sales, due largely to higher gasoline prices, gains were broad based, only three of the 13 retail sales categories posting declines. Excluding gasoline,


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10 Ways to Screw up Your Retirement

10 Ways to Screw up Your Retirement

By Dennis Miller

There are many creative ways to screw up your retirement. Let me show you how it’s done.

Supporting adult children. My wife Jo and I have friends with an unmarried, unemployed daughter who had a child. Our friends adopted their grandchild and are now in their late sixties raising a kid in grade school. The same daughter had a second child, and they adopted that one too. When she announced she was pregnant a third time, they finally said, “Enough! It’s time for a third-party adoption.”

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Courtesy of Doug Short.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and other major U.S. stock indexes stage another rally.

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Donetsk "Letter To Jews" Found To Be A Forgery

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

In the days before the Geneva "de-escalation" conference (and coincidentally, days after the secret visit of CIA director Brennan to Kiev), the top story across western media was the "undisputed" proof that east-Ukraine, populated by "terrorist separatists", is preparing to unleash a neo-nazi wave against local jews, when a leaflet was unveiled, beckoning the Jewish population to register and declare their assets.

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Chart – Shares in Chipotle cool by lunchtime

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Mid-Day Update

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What the Market Wants: Positive News and Stocks at Bargain Prices

Courtesy of David Brown, Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last week’s market performance was nasty again, especially for the Small-cap Growth style/cap, down 4%.  Large-caps faired the best, losing only 2.7%.  That’s ugly and today’s market seemed likely to be uglier today with escalating tensions over the weekend in Ukraine. 

But once again, positive economic trumped the beating of the war drums. Retail Sales jumped up 1.1% over a projected 0.8% and last month’s tepid 0.3%, which was revised up to 0.7%.  While autos led, sales were up solidly overall.  Business inventories were about as expected with a positive tone.  Citigroup (C) handily beat estimates to add to the morning’s surprises.  As a result, the market was positive through most of the day, led by the DJI, up 0.91%, and the S&P 500, up 0.82%.  NASDAQ had a less...



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Facebook Takes Life Seriously and Moves To Create Its Own Virtual Currency, Increases UltraCoin Valuation Significantly

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
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