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Retail Roundup: Walmart sets the bar, Target and Best Buy up next

Jeff Macke

Huge week for retail with many of the headline names reporting in the last five days and Best Buy (BBY) and Target (TGT) on deck.

Here are the highlights:

Walmart (WMT) was up just under 5% Thursday on a sort of mediocre quarter but decent guidance. The share move saw Christy Walton's -  the widow of Sam Walton's son - net worth climb over $40 billion. She's 59 and the richest woman in the world.... Hello, Christy.

Christy Walton at the Imagen Awards in 2013. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Christy Walton at the Imagen Awards in 2013. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Some perspective for you: Walmart has gained 131,571% since its IPO. That's more than 20% annualized return over 42 years. If we didn't hate the company so much this would be a great story.

More to the point on trading right now, Walmart gave us our tell for these reports: if you gave Wall Street anything to believe in your shares moved higher.

Witness Nordstrom (JWN) moving higher pre-market despite beating earnings estimates and lowering guidance.

Kohl's (KSS) missed on earnings and blamed weak traffic. My tip to the company: your check-out area stinks. Your core customers love discounts but regular customers, like me for example, would rather not stand in line for 10 minutes while an octagenarian rifles through her purse looking for coupons.

Dillards (DDS) flat out missed yesterday morning but no one cares. Department stores haven't died yet, that's an upside surprise. Shares 23% higher Year to Date.

Related: Walmart results suggest strong holiday shopping season ahead

American Eagle (AEO) got a pop on Wednesday after an earnings beat but gave some back yesterday. The company blames weak mall traffic for its cautious outlook. Tip of the hat to management for hanging in there but the mall excuse is getting embarrassing. Good companies make their own traffic. Just look at H&M. It's based in Europe and sells deep discount fashion. They never whine about traffic because they don't have to. Hate to say but US retail is pretty miserable compared to Fast Fashion operations like Inditex, Fast Retailing in Japan and H&M. Those chains will be filling malls in 10 years.

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Finally next week we have Minnesota's finest in the form of Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY). Best Buy is down 11% since the start of the year but up huge over the last 24 months. The stock has spent all year working its way out of the hole from January's miss. Make or break time on that stock.

Last but not least is Target. You may be thinking this is a good trade after Walmart and I'm not one to disagree but note that you're not exactly early. Stock is up 10% since late October.

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