For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – November 29, 2012 – 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 Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY), Target Corporation (TGT) and Apple Inc. (AAPL).
Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513
Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:
Holiday Season Lifts Consumer Index
While the economy is still struggling to fully recover, Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday came as a relief for the retailers this holiday season. The holiday weekend sales have helped consumer confidence strongly improve. Amid the economic gloom, it seems that consumers had saved enough bucks to grab the best deals available now.
A recent report by Conference Board data suggested that Consumer Confidence Index rose to 73.7 in November from a revised 73.1 in October, and attained the highest level since February 2008, when the index touched 76.4. This prompts a sense of optimism about steady increase in consumer spending going forward; barring the impending “fiscal cliff” making its way in. The impact of fiscal cliff or $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts will take its effect from the beginning of 2013 if not resolved by Congress.
According to National Retail Federation (NRF), the survey performed by BIGinsight revealed that as many as 247 million bargain hunters visited stores and browsed the Internet over the past weekend compared with 226 million in the prior year. The average spending per customer rose to $423.6 over the weekend, up 6.3% from $398.6 in the prior-year comparable period. Average online spending increased 14.5% to $172.4 from $150.5 in the corresponding period last year.
The data compiled by NRF also suggested that sales on the Thanksgiving weekend surged 12.8% to $59.1 billion from $52.4 billion in the year-ago period. Notably, sales did rise, but the rate of growth decelerated from 16.4% growth rate achieved in the prior-year period.
This doesn't mean retailers haven't done their homework. Instead, they have now gained enough experience to make the best amid lingering gloomy economic conditions. Early-hours store openings, huge discounts, promotional activities and free shipping on online purchases were enough to lure customers on Black Friday, which turned out to be a bonanza for both brick-and-mortar as well as e-commerce retailers.
As suggested by comScore, Black Friday witnessed online retail spending of $1.04 billion that increased 26% from $816 million in 2011, whereas Thanksgiving Day saw a 32% jump in online spending to $633 million. Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) recorded highest online traffic as per comScore on Black Friday and was followed by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY), Target Corporation (TGT) and Apple Inc. (AAPL).
However, retail sales on Black Friday, which kicks off the holiday sales, edged down 1.8% to $11.2 billion, while foot traffic climbed 3.5%, according to the data released by ShopperTrak. Analysts believe that Thanksgiving Day attracted some sales from Black Friday due to the early offerings of best deals.
It seems that the holiday season is shaping up well, lifting consumer’s confidence, benefiting retailers and giving some momentum to derailed economy. Sensing the pulse, we could see more competitive pricing and launch of new products to attract shoppers in the holiday season.
We believe that retail companies will be actively making efforts to win the hearts of bargain hunters. Interestingly, it definitely remains a wait-and-see story as to which retailers emerge successful in wooing maximum consumers in this distressed economy.
Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.
About Zacks Equity Research
Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.
Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.
Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5517
Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.
Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch
Join us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Zacks-Investment-Research/57553657748?ref=ts
Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
More From Zacks.com