|By Marketwire .||
|July 18, 2012 08:20 AM EDT||
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 07/18/12 -- The markets began the week in the red Monday after the Commerce Department's Census Bureau reported that retail sales in June unexpectedly fell for the third consecutive month. The last time consumer spending declined for three consecutive months was in the fall of 2008, during the great recession. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Retail Industry and provides equity research on Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT).
According to the report retail sales in June fell 0.5 percent; economists had predicted a 0.2 percent rise. A weak U.S. jobs market and concerns of a global recession appears to have consumers spending more cautiously. The slowdown has raised some major concerns among investors as consumer spending is accountable for roughly 70 percent of the U.S. economy.
"Recent weak jobs data have certainly done nothing to alter our view that consumer spending growth will be very modest at best in the quarters ahead," said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR Inc. "A silver lining in the economic clouds is that lower gasoline prices are helping to cushion the consumer."
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Wal-Mart set a new 52-week high of $73.18 last Friday. The company's fiscal year 2012 sales were approximately $444 billion. Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 were $112.3 billion, an increase of 8.6 percent from $103.4 billion in the first quarter of last year. Shares of the company are up over 20 percent in the last three months.
Target recently confirmed a list of stores that it intends to open across Canada in 2013. As previously announced, Target selected the leasehold interests of sites across the country operated by Zellers Inc., with plans to open 125 to 135 stores in Canada starting in March/April 2013. "Construction has already begun on our first set of stores and we are excited to see the transformation as the Target brand comes to life in Canada," said Tony Fisher, president of Target Canada.
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