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Morgan Stanley Says Back-To-School Season Off To Decent Start For Retailers

Tim Biggam

In a second half July sales preview Monday, Morgan Stanley said its store checks suggest sales trends in-line with first half of July.

The firm thinks sales trends during the second half of the month were consistent with the first half. Overall, Morgan Stanley stated July trends are likely similar to June's blended performance. The firm expects trends to stay muted until full back-to-school and fall deliveries arrive within the next two weeks. However, observations by Morgan Stanley analysts suggest back-to-school sales, even though very early, are off to a decent start.

Morgan Stanley also issued updated estimates:

L Brands (NYSE: LB) Estimate +2 percent LB July comp

Gap stores (NYSE: GPS) Forecast +1 percent GPS July comp

Trimming 2Q EPS estimates on American Eagle (NYSE: AEO) and Chico's (NYSE: CHS) by a penny each.

According to Morgan Stanley, promotional activity ticked up slightly compared to in-line activity during the first half of the month. However, the good news is clearance levels are relatively in-line year over year after running +10 percent and +15 percent higher during 1H July and 2H June, respectively.

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