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US Retail Stocks Mark Strong 1Q, With Strength Seen Continuing

By Karen Talley Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Retail stocks began 2012 with a head of steam that continued throughout the quarter, with many posting record or multi-year highs during the period, amid sentiment that the gains can continue. For the first quarter, which ends at the close of trading, the Standard & Poor's Retail Index has risen 101 points, or 19%, with the percentage rise representing its best gain since the second quarter of 2003. The move outpaces that of the broader market, with the S&P 500 up 12% so far in the first quarter. Sentiment about an improving economy helped to fuel retail stocks' gains, as did rather decent earnings these companies turned in during the period. Retailers with the biggest gains during the quarter include Gap Inc. (GPS) and Aeropostale Inc. (ARO), both up 42%; Chico's FAS Inc. (CHS) up 36%; Macy's Inc. (M), up 24%; Saks Inc. (SKS) up 21%; and Target Corp. (TGT) up 14%. Target was also among stocks that hit multi-year highs during the first quarter. Others include Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), Nordstrom Inc. (JWN), Coach Inc. (COH), Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO) and Lowe's Cos. (LOW). While some of the easier gains have already been made, there is opportunity for further advances by retail stocks if the economy cooperates, analysts said. "The environment is still slowly getting better for retailers," said David Abella, portfolio manager at Rochdale Investment Management. "They were able to have pretty strong sales when the economy was weaker, so it stands to reason if the economy improves they should do even better." Still, the big unknown is how gasoline prices act. If prices continue to climb, lower-end retailers may lose out. Abella cited Kohl's Corp. (KSS), J.C. Penney Co. (JCP), Wal-Mart and Target as retailers that could be pinched by high gasoline prices. -By Karen Talley, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2196; karen.talley@dowjones.com

Stock News for Jc Penney (JCP)
DateTimeHeadline
04/27/201519:20:02Is J.C. Penney Inc.'s Stock a Buy?
04/23/201515:06:52JCPenney Debuts New Bedding Collection with Eva Longoria
04/23/201509:08:025 Things UnitedHealth Wants You to Know
04/23/201507:35:02Why Procter & Gamble Company Is Shedding Its Cosmetics Business
04/22/201519:05:03McDonald's Corporation Looks More Like This Failing Retailer...
04/21/201518:29:023 Reasons JC Penney Company Inc Stock Could Fall
04/18/201517:10:03Oops! J.C. Penney Company Inc. Accidentally Lets Slip It's Having...
04/16/201520:00:04Is Men's Wearhouse Stock a Buy?
04/16/201517:29:03Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/16/201516:28:59JCPenney Named One of America's Best Employers for 2015
04/15/201502:26:04Penney Sees Same-Store Sales Up 3.5%-4.5% in 1Q
04/14/201508:54:19Current Report Filing (8-k)
04/13/201517:27:25Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
04/13/201500:42:18If You Absolutely Must Own Retail, Look For Debt-Free Dividend...
04/08/201523:11:43J.C. Penney: Sentiment Nearing Overly Optimistic Area Again
04/08/201514:06:023 Promising Retail Stocks Trading Under $10
04/06/201519:00:03Spoiler Alert: Apple Watch Won't Save the Mall
04/06/201511:27:00JCPenney Earns Good Housekeeping Seal For Over 75 Home Products
04/05/201515:00:022 Retail Stocks Wall Street is All Wrong About
04/03/201507:23:08What's With All The J.C. Penney Upgrades?

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