SOURCE: Rothman Research

Rothman Research

April 13, 2010 08:42 ET

Has The Recession Ended?

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - April 13, 2010) - - Any trader playing the market in recent weeks might have felt that the palpable bullishness is a sign that the worst is behind us in terms of the recession. Well, there have also been new job creations, an increasing employment level in March and a surge in consumer spendings; positives that would predispose an end to the recession and an economy moving back on track. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) showed an impressive acceleration in its earnings growth, pulverizing Wall Street's estimate. The company's same store sales were up 11.5% which brought about a 60% surge in net income. Many on the street believe that this impressive comeback of Bed Bath & Beyond, after years of struggle, is one more sign that the economy is out of the financial malaise.

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Our analyst at, Mathew Collier, had this to say: "Bed Bath & Beyond is returning to unswerving profit enhancement for many reasons one of which is the downfall of its bitter rival Linens 'N Things and the slight regain in customer spending. But to say that the economy is out of the woods, is according to me, a far-fetch conclusion... there are signs of an economic recovery but it is still a slow-paced resurgence. Many professionals still have a stern belief that the economy could turn downhill again. We cannot just consider one or two positive factors and assume that all is well, many other factors are still threading in the red even if they are showing some signs of partial recovery."

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"There are many misconceptions at this moment among investors, mainly boosted by a-much-too-positive outlook of the economy due to rumors of that the recession is fully tamed that have been posted online. As you know internet news spread like wildfire and expectation of an end of the recession is at a climax on the street, people are giving way to speculation rather than common sense. However, there are pockets of recovery, do not get me wrong. For instance, we are seeing a number a bullish moves in the home furnishing stores space with BBBY and Pier 1 imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR). Pier 1 has been a great play for the past year and has seen its shares soared to virtually a 3-year high. But if one looks deeper into the sector, the housing market upon which those companies depend heavily is still licking wounds inflicted by the economic meltdown." 

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The recession may well be receding for the moment, but we could also be in the eye of the storm. At this point in time, our policy is to 'wait-and-see' before taking any pronouncement for fact as the economic recovery still need to spread to the broader market. 
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