Back to top

Real Time Insight

Retail sales for the month of December rose +0.5% from the previous month. Excluding autos, sales were up +0.3% month-over-month and +4.1% from December 2011. This was generally in-line with expectations.

It's important to note that monthly retail sales figures are adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.

The chart below from Calculated Risk Blog shows the year-over-year change in retail sales, excluding gasoline, for the last 20 years.

December's report was solid, but I'm more interested to see how January retail sales will stack up. With the expiration of the 2% payroll tax holiday, consumers are seeing smaller paychecks this year. And that will likely provide a headwind for the consumer discretionary sector, in my opinion. We will have to wait and see.

Just Released: 5 Stocks to Double

Today, you are invited to download a free Special Report from Zacks Investment Research. It reveals five moves that could gain +100% and more in the next 12 months:

One is a "boring" business delivering blistering growth. Another is a red-hot oil and gas producer set to surge on a drilling breakthrough. Still another, an online payment provider, ignited a 53% sales explosion during the past year.

Close This Panel X

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
PLANAR SYST… PLNR 4.44 +5.21%
BITAUTO HOL… BITA 81.71 +5.12%
CTPARTNERS… CTP 16.66 +4.26%
CHINA BIOLO… CBPO 47.91 +3.30%
MALLINCKROD… MNK 72.94 +2.85%