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Retailers Continue to Post Strong Earnings

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This morning, we see fresh Initial Jobless Claims, with results remaining within the historically healthy range we’ve mostly seen for the past several years: 209K new claims last week is also notably down from the (slightly upwardly revised) 221K from the previous week. That this low level has been more or less maintained for as long as it has is a clear testament to this era of robust U.S. employment.

Continuing Claims dipped back below 1.7 million to 1.674 million two weeks ago. This is consistent with the labor market strength we’ve seen in other data. In a couple weeks, we’ll get new non-farm payroll numbers from the U.S. government, along with a new Unemployment Rate. Based on what we’ve seen in weekly claims numbers, we appear to have little to worry about.

Specialty retail firm Dicks Sporting Goods ((DKS - Free Report) ) posted earnings 5 cents above the Zacks consensus to $1.26 per share in its Q2 report, and above the $1.20 reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenues of $2.26 billion in the quarter beat estimates by 2.62%, and ahead of the $2.18 billion from last year’s quarter. This makes 3 of the past 4 quarters Dicks has outperformed expectations on the bottom line. Shares are up 7% in pre-market trading.

Canned foods major Hormel ((HRL - Free Report) ) also put up better-than-expected fiscal Q3 earnings: 37 cents per share versus 35 cents estimated, and $2.291 billion in sales was higher than the $2.285 billion analysts were looking for. However, these figures represent lower year-over-year results: nearly -5% on the bottom line and -3% on the top. Grocery products were down 11% in the quarter.

BJ’s Wholesale Club ((BJ - Free Report) ), on the other hand, are up 9.75% in the early session on an earnings beatt by 2 cents to 37 cents per share. Revenues of $3.35 billion were -1.55% from expectations, although up from the $3.31 billion reported a year ago. Shares had only gone up 1.8% year to date ahead of these earnings results. BJ’s has not missed earnings estimates in its (relatively short) public trading history.

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