Consumers Clench Their Wallets

Worries over mortgages and higher gas prices are starting to show up in their spending. And from Tiffany's to Wal-Mart, retailers are feeling the pinch

At first blush, it's easy to overlook the lackluster results posted by luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. (TIF)—flat income and 15% sales growth, the stuff of a tepid quarter at a retailer known for its affluent and loyal clientele. Yet a closer examination of Tiffany's performance offers an interesting peek into how the folks who shop there—a broader demographic than many people realize—are starting to behave amid new economic uncertainties.

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