SOURCE: Five Star Equities
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 16, 2012) - Retail stocks received a boost Tuesday after the Commerce Department reported that retail sales in July saw their largest gain in five months. The data released showed that after three consecutive months of declines retail sales in the U.S. increased 0.8 percent in July. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Retail Sector and provides equity research on The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE: HD) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT).
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The 0.8 percent gain came in above analysts' expectations of 0.3 percent, and followed a 0.7 percent drop in June. One of the biggest surprises from the Commerce Department's report was that every major category of the retail sector saw gains. The U.S. economy continues to show signs of improvement in the second half as U.S. employers also added the most jobs in July since February.
"It looks like lower gas prices, a nice rally in stocks and stronger job growth... helped boost consumer spending in July," said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.
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Shares of Home Depot surged nearly 4 percent Tuesday, hitting a new 52-week high, after reporting second quarter profits that beat analysts' estimates and raising guidance. The company reported second quarter of fiscal 2012 net earnings of $1.5 billion, or $1.01 per diluted share, compared with net earnings of $1.4 billion, or $0.86 per diluted share, in the same period of fiscal 2011.
Wal-Mart's fiscal year 2012 sales totaled approximately $444 billion. The company offers investors an annual dividend of $1.59 per share, for a yield of roughly 2.2 percent. Wal-Mart recently received approval from Chinese regulators to purchase a 51 percent majority stake in Yihaodian's holding company, a Chinese e-commerce company.
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