Thursday, April 8, 2010

Retailer's Post Strong Gains

From the WSJ:

U.S. retailers on Thursday reported strong sales gains for March, adding to evidence that consumers are feeling more confident as the economy stabilizes.

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 9.1% last month, according to Thomson Reuters, the best monthly showing since the firm began tracking the figures a decade ago.

From discounters to luxury apparel stores, retailers surpassed bullish analyst expectations and pointed to broad demand for merchandise that didn't carry the kinds of markdowns that were so common just months ago.

Retailers benefited not only from improved consumer confidence but also from easy year-ago comparisons, warmer weather and increased Easter shopping. Indeed, an earlier Easter this year could lead to less-robust April results, and the verdict is still out on an economic recovery.

Read this in conjunction with yesterday's article from the NY Times.

Let's take a look at some relevant charts:

Prices are in a general up/down/up equal measurement rally. In this scenario, traders look for a move up which is measured in points followed by a correction. When prices move higher again, the assumption is prices will make a measured move (a move of the same amount of points) higher.

In this situation we have a leg up (a) which also has a three fan patter. This is followed by a rounding top which moves into another rally.

The consumer discretionary sector is in a clear upward trend as well. Notice we have a general uptrend (a), an upward sloping channel (b) and a third upward sloping trend line (c).