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Citi analyst expects hot sales from cool season

The Associated Press

Moderating temperatures after a scorching hot summer could give retailers just the boost they need during the back-to-school shopping season, according to Citigroup.

Weather Trends International, a weather planning firm, is forecasting the lowest temperatures in four years for the 2013 back-to-school season. Colder weather could benefit retailers as shoppers are then more likely to buy fall clothing and other items in stores for that season, said Citi analyst Deborah Weinswig in a research note published Friday.

Weather Trends International CEO Bill Kirk showed the analyst how even one-degree of change in temperature year-over-year can have significant implications for sales of seasonal merchandise, such as sunscreen or electric blankets.

Weinswig expects that the cooler weather could help sales of retailers that sell clothes and supplies. She pointed to a number of general retailers, such as Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., benefiting from the predicted weather changes.

Shares of retailers were mixed Friday, impacted by a number of economic reports that illustrated a still sluggish economic recovery and modest consumer spending.

Here's a look at how some major retailers fared by late afternoon Friday:

-Macy's Inc.'s shares added 13 cents to reach $49.40

-Target Corp.'s shares fell 13 cents to $71.45

-Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s shares added 44 cents to $78.66

-J.C. Penney Co. fell 32 cents to $14.26

-Kohl's Corp.'s shares fell 56 cents to $53.60