Investors Wait for U.S. Consumer Profits to Match Share Hype

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U.S. retail sales fell for a third straight month in February, according to a report last week. Auto dealers, building-material outlets and department stores were among the merchants that suffered through record cold and snow in parts of the Northeast and Midwest. The measure dropped by the most in almost a year in December.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

The plunge in oil that drained energy shares was also supposed to boost disposable income for consumers. Companies from automakers to retailers are still waiting to see that trickle down to their bottom lines.

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