This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Holiday Shopping Season Gets Early Start

WASHINGTON (TheStreet) -- The retail forecast for the next six months suggests the holiday shopping season has already begun.

Despite some ominous signs in May -- including a 1.2% decrease in retail sales, a 2% drop in existing-home sales and a 33% collapse in new-home sales -- the retail community found reasons for optimism. Consumer confidence jumped 5.6% to its highest level since September 2008, while the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index rose to 76 two weeks ago from 73.3 in May and beat economists' forecast of 75. It may seem small, but with Toys "R" Us announcing last month that it's setting up a "Christmas Savers Club" for its customers, a little optimism goes a long way.

The National Retail Federation expects disposable income to rise 2.5% this year and spending to increase 3%, citing the addition of a million new jobs and an improvement in the housing market. While it acknowledges that nearly half of those new jobs are government and census-worker positions, which don't come close to restoring the more than 8 million jobs lost during the recession, and that the expiration of the homebuyer credit could play havoc with housing, it sees even minimal job creation and low mortgage rates as steps in the right direction.

So where is this newfound windfall going in the next six months? If the Commerce Department's estimate of 7.5% retail growth in the first five months of this year are any indication, it should be a happy holiday season in several categories. Online retailers like Amazon (AMZN), eBay (EBAY) and Overstock.com (OSTK), for example, saw a 13% spike in business in the first five months compared to 2009 as frugal shoppers went digging for deals.

Clothing sales, meanwhile, jumped 4.7% in the first half as retailers such as Urban Outfitters (URBN) and The Limited (LTD) saw gains and a survey by BIGResearch found that 13% of respondents felt it was time to spend on apparel for themselves. There's not going to be enough room for everyone at the holiday table: Department store sales fell 0.6% in the same period.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,943.81 +28.74 0.17%
S&P 500 1,967.57 +2.89 0.15%
NASDAQ 4,415.49 +19.2860 0.44%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs