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!

November Retail Sales Encouraging

By Dirk van Dijk of Zacks.com

NEW YORK (Zachs.com) -- Retail Sales were better than expected in November, and the numbers for October were revised sharply higher.

Total retail sales rose 0.8%, much better than the 0.5% consensus expectation, and are up 7.7% from a year ago. October was revised up from 1.2% growth to 1.7% growth, which makes the overall level of retail sales much better than the consensus was expecting (up 0.5%).

The retail sales report is a very broad-based measure of consumer spending. Since consumer spending makes up 71% of the economy, it is a very important number. That overstates things a bit, since retail sales are mostly about the sale of goods, not services, and services make up two thirds of what consumers spend.

Auto Sales Comps a Drag

Auto sales were a bit of a drag on overall retail sales in October, falling 0.8% on the month, but that is after rising 5.6% in September. On a year-over-year basis they were up 12.5%. The hangover from the end the Cash for Clunkers program was mostly over by November of last year, so the year-over-year comparison is cleaner than it was in September or October for the car lots, but there might still be some effect there.

Excluding autos, retail sales rose 1.2%, up from a 0.8% rise in October. The October ex-autos number was revised up from 0.4%. Year over year, sales are up 6.7%. The consensus was looking for a 0.6% rise on the month, excluding autos.

Broad-Based Strength

This report significantly undercuts the "economy is falling into a double-dip recession" theme.

The strength was broad based. The report tracks 13 major categories of stores, eight of which were up and only five down on the month. Year over year, all types of stores are showing increases, ranging from 0.6% (furniture stores) to 14.2% for the non-store retailers like Amazon (AMZN)

Excluding the online (and mail-order) retailers, the highest year-over-year growth (13.5%) was in the auto dealers and parts stores, the category that includes the likes of AutoZone (AZO). One has to remember that while the numbers are adjusted for things like the number of selling days in the month, they are not adjusted for prices, and thus give more of a picture of what is happening with nominal GDP than real GDP.

1 of 4

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 16,919.59 +80.85 0.48%
S&P 500 1,981.60 +9.86 0.50%
NASDAQ 4,527.5140 +19.2020 0.43%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

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