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On Wall Street it’s all about retail sales

On Wall Street it’s all about retail sales

Wall Street will be listening closely to the sound of cash registers ringing up retail sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The reason: the pace of sales could provide much-needed insight into the health of the U.S. consumer, which make up nearly 70% of U.S. economic activity.Wall-Street

Investors will want to know how many gadgets and big-screen TVs Best Buy sells. They’ll be analyzing sales at department store giant Macy’s, wondering if the retailer’s recent profit warning was an overreaction or a sign of weak sales and sizable discounts that will add up to lousy profits this holiday season. Wall Street also will scrutinize sales at Walmart, the nation’s biggest retailer, as well as Target and Toys “R” Us, to size up how the holiday shopping season fares out of the gate — and how sales will shake out by the time the selling season winds down in late December.

Here’s how an LPL Research piece titled, “Does Black Friday Still Matter?” sums up the importance of the start of the holiday shopping season. “The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, seems to receive more media hype each year, as it is the unofficial kick off of the holiday season,” the report noted. “Markets also pay attention, as Black Friday has historically been an early indicator of consumer demand during the important holiday shopping season.”