Retail Winners and Losers: May Ends Down (Updated)

Sales the last week of May were disappointing, and could cut in to monthly results.
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May ended on a sour note for retailers.

Sales during the last week dropped .6%, completing a roller-coaster ride of a month, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs.

Retailers, though, did manage a .6% improvement on a year-over-year basis.

ICSC estimates that May sales will be down 2%, as last year's tax rebate poses a difficult comparison. Same-store sales will be released by most retailers on Thursday.

Still, shares of retailers are rallying on essentially no news. Actual same-store sales numbers are not due out until Thursday and there were no significant earnings releases on Tuesday.

Yet the S&P Retail Index edged up by a little by1.5% to 343.67, led by

Sears

(SHLD)

, which jumped 9% to $67.31,

Talbots

(TLB)

, which flew 21% to $4.24, and

Rite Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

, which soared by more than 11% to $1.45.

There were some sprinkles of red, as

Wal-Mart Stores

(WMT) - Get Report

dropped 1.3% to $49.96,

American Apparel

(APP) - Get Report

fell 5% to $3.80,

J.Crew

(JCG)

fell 3% to $26.63 and

Zale

(ZLC)

dropped 2% to $4.16.

Office Depot

(ODP) - Get Report

also lost 4% to $5.01.

Granted, Thurday's numbers will help decide if a turnaround in consumer spending is imminent, but it seems like results will be sluggish, at best.

For the most part, analysts are

expecting May sales to continue on a negative track,

but with signs of improvement in comparison to April.

Looking to June, though, visibility becomes hazy, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Richard Jaffe said in a note. "Lean inventories will likely limit clearance sales, as June and July are historically clearance months, and retailers anniversary the impact of 2008 rebate checks," he wrote.

Jaffe's winners for May include:

Aeropostale

(ARO)

,

Gap

(GSP) - Get Report

,

TJX

(TJX) - Get Report

and

Urban Outfitters

(URBN) - Get Report

.

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