The bar has been raised by TJX Cos. (TJX) , the parent company of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods that reported better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday.
As I wrote on Monday, my take is that 60% of consumers feel that they can make ends meet, while 40% are living paycheck to paycheck. Sixty percent will look for bargains at discount stores such as T.J. Maxx, while the 40% may stretch their budgets to purchase items at those stores.
Ross Stores (ROST - Get Report) followed TJX higher Tuesday on the presumption that school children want to dress in brand-name apparel discounted to meet their parents' budget. Ross Stores is down 7% year to date, but rose 4% on Tuesday.
Aeropostale (ARO) is the biggest loser year to date among the seven profiled here, down 57%. The stock popped 19% on Tuesday. The company is expected to post a quarterly loss after the closing bell on Thursday.
Here are today's stock profiles. Two "crunching the numbers" tables follow.
Ann Inc. (ANN) ($36.77) is up 0.6% year to date. The stock has traded as low as $30.71 on Feb. 5, and as high as $43.60 on March 21. It is just below its 200-day simple moving average of $37.48.
Analysts expect the clothing retailer to report earnings per share of 70 cents before the opening bell on Friday. Ann has a 12-month trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 17.9 and doesn't pay a dividend.
The weekly chart is negative but oversold with its five-week modified moving average at $37.65 and its 200-week SMA at $30.60. Weekly and annual value levels are $34.89 and $30.67, respectively, with monthly and semiannual risky levels at $39.39 and $44.98, respectively.
Aeropostale ($3.87) traded as low as $3.15 on Aug. 4. It popped above its 50-day SMA at $3.35 on Tuesday but remains well below its 200-day SMA of $5.91.
Analysts expect the company to report a loss of 59 cents per share after the closing bell on Thursday.
The weekly chart is oversold with its five-week MMA at $3.48. A weekly pivot is $3.22 with a semiannual risky level at $9.12.