Retail sales saw a reversal of fortune, if only a bit, and the numbers beat analysts’ expectations. The numbers were also the biggest increase in 14 months. Will this reflect in related exchange traded funds (ETFs) and stocks?
U.S. retail sales in January saw a 1% jump, changing the direction of the downward trend and reversing the trend for over 14 months. Marcy Gordon for the Associated Press reports that higher gas prices, sales and deep discounts added to the success for the month. January reports show a spike in auto sales and general merchandise in stores, namely the big outlet/discount stores such as Wal-Mart (WMT).
- Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP): down 7.9% over three months; down 0.6% over one week
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is to meet with the economic team in the White House for a discussion to keep Americans in their homes. The main topic is focused on how to stop the foreclosure bleeding, and how to get credit markets flowing once again.
Maya Jackson Randall for CNN Money reports that a growing number of federal officials are urging banks to hold off on foreclosures until the new administration announces its multi- billion-dollar plan to ease the pain in the housing markets.