Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stock Market: Victoria`s Surprise

Blizzards? Weak job market? It seems the US consumer doesnt care. In January the sales of many retailers were surprisingly strong, yet last week many shopping chains reported more sales-growth than expected.

Despite the dull job market, consumers are more optimistic and in a spending mood again. The comeback from the consumer is partly fueled by rising salaries. Companies pay their employees more because their productivity is raising and they can expand production to participate in the economic recovery. And: Many consumer are invested in the stock market. They strongly benefit from the ongoing rally on the stock market.

Beneficiaries of the consumer comeback are for example Macy`s, Aeropostale, Gap, JC Penney and Kohl’s. Costco (COST) recorded 9% growth year over the year. The greatest surprise came from Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD), the owner of the brands Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body. Limited posted a 24% gain, versus analysts’ expectations for 6.7%. It seems, the consumer is more willing to invest in beautiful things, a good sign for the whole economy.

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