Holiday Sales

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Here's How We Know Holiday Retail Sales Will Be Huge

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The biggest wave of season hiring in a decade suggests that 2014 holiday retail sales will be their strongest in years.

In recent weeks retailers have been scrambling to hire more seasonal workers than usual in advance of the holiday shopping season. Retailers could add as many as 800,000 workers this year - the most since 1999.

To see just how big an impact holiday retail sales has, check out this graphic ...

The Weakest Holiday Sales Growth Since 2008 Means It's Time to Short These Retailers

Initial U.S. retail sales figures released on Wednesday showed sales growth for the holiday season was the worst since 2008.

According to MasterCard SpendingPulse, holiday sales posted a paltry 0.7% increase against expectations of a 3-4% gain. That's below the same period last year when sales grew at a 2% pace.

Analysts looking for a convenient excuse have been quick to blame Hurricane Sandy. But in reality, there's something else much bigger at work here.

That's why I'm actively hunting for shorts in the retail sector right now and will be for much of the first quarter next year.

Following the holiday data and some moderate earnings that incorporate the extra week this quarter, I simply don't think hard-core retail companies like the The Gap (NYSE: GPS), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO), The TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX), and Abercrombie and Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) – which are up 71.3%, 47.41%, 32.2% and 50.67% respectively year to date through Christmas Eve – will be able to sustain these big up moves.

In fact, there are several real reasons why I think holiday sales were down and consumer spending will continue to drop into 2013, making select retailers good short candidates:

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Retailers May Have a Cheerier Holiday Season to Look Forward To

The worst holiday season since at least 1970 left many retailers - including the now bankrupt Circuit City Stores Inc. (OTC: CCTYQ) - very little to be thankful for last year. But things might be a little bit cheerier this year, once consumers overcome the specter of last year's stock market crash and retailers slink […]

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With our investment news briefs, Money Morning provides investors with a quick overview of the most important investing news stories from all around the world. IMF Lowers Global Writedown Estimate; CIT Still Struggling; $1.6 Billion Hong Kong IPO for Wynn Macau; Wal-Mart, Kmart Gunning For Holiday Toy Sales; Toyota Announces Record Recall; BofA Exec Takes […]

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2007: The Worst Holiday Shopping Season in Five Years?

By Jennifer Yousfi Managing Editor The holiday shopping season has come to a close and while final sales figures won't be released until mid-January, retailers fear they will fail to meet even the most modest of expectations. Sales reports released so far have demonstrated that the 2007 holiday shopping season has shown the slowest growth […]

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