The U.S. Commerce Department reported today that January retail sales rose 0.3%, reports Tomi Kilgore for Thomson Financial. It’s the exact opposite of what was expected: economists predicted a 0.3% drop. Sales are now at their highest levels since November.
This is a turnaround from earlier numbers. A survey by UBS-International Council of Shopping Centers had the nation’s retailers saying it was their worst January in nearly four decades.
The Retail HOLDRs (RTH) went up slightly after the news, and it had been down 0.3% just before the sales report was released. Year-to-date, it’s down 0.2%.
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