The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Macy's, Kohl's, Nordstrom, Limited Brands and Wal-Mart Stores

 The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Macy's, Kohl's, Nordstrom, Limited Brands
                             and Wal-Mart Stores

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Nov. 26, 2012

CHICAGO, Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Macy's Inc. (NYSE:M), Kohl's
Corp. (NYSE:KSS), Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN), Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE:LTD),
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Will Holiday Season Reward Retailers?

On the verge of completing another year, the overall economic situation is
moderately improving. The economic recovery in the U.S. remains soft, and
situations in the Eurozone is no better. In addition, mounting Middle East
tension remains a grim reality. In such a scenario, the big question is: "What
does this holiday season have in store for retailers?"

Taking a cue from 2011 holiday season, early-hour store openings, huge
discounts, promotional activities and free shipping for online purchases are
in play for both brick-and-mortar as well as e-commerce retailers as of today.

Research hints that optimism about this holiday season remains intact. Data
compiled by National Retail Federation, the nation's largest retail trade
group, suggests a 4.1% jump in holiday sales to $586.1 billion -- short of the
5.6% growth registered last year, but above the 10-year average sales of 3.5%.

As suggested by comScore, online retail spending is forecasted to be $43.4
billion during the period between November and December. This reflects an
expected increase of 17% that fares better than the growth rate of 15%
achieved last holiday season. This is further validated by comScore's
projection of a 16% rise in online retail spending to $10.1 billion in the
first 18 days of the said period.

Consumer confidence is also gaining momentum. The Conference Board's reading
of the Consumer Confidence Index -- a barometer of U.S. consumer health --
rose to 72.2 in October from 68.4 in September and 61.3 in August.

The labor market is gradually heading its way out of the economic doldrums.
The unemployment rate in the U.S., reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
remained at 7.9% in October, marginally up from 7.8% in September but down
from 8.1% in August.

The above data seem encouraging barring anything unforseen. We expect this
holiday season could bring cheers to retailers such as Macy's Inc. (NYSE:M),
Kohl's Corp. (NYSE:KSS), Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE:JWN), Limited Brands Inc.
(NYSE:LTD), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT), among others.

However, there's a lingering fear that if recession-hit consumers decide to go
cautious with their spending in this holiday season, or if the economic crisis
aggravates, the picture might change for the negative. A pick-up in demand on
Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday would definitely augur well for the economy.

Happy Holiday Season!

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