With some companies actually beating earnings today, stocks are moving higher. Helping the cause were retailers. Circuit City (NYSE:CC), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), and Bed Bath and Beyond (NYSE:BBBY) all reported better than expected earnings this week. This could be a signal that consumer spending isn't falling off as much as expected. One kink in the theory is Neiman Marcus (NYSE:NMG) reporting they will miss their earnings estimate. This could mean the "wealth affect" is starting to become reality. After losing 70% of their accounts, investors might not be willing to purchase as many high-end retail items as they use to. With Circuit City and Best Buy beating estimates, consumers are apparently still buying DVD players and other electronics.
Retail Index 60-Minute Chart
With the Retail Index (RLX.X) in a downtrend this year, this was setting up to be an important week for the technicals. Prices have been toying with 31.8% retracement bracket and 200-day moving average for the past month. Prices held up relatively well while the rest of the market was being decimated. With the current strength we're seeing, Prices could make an attempt to break that pesky downtrend. Below are some charts of interest in the retail sector
Retail Charts of Interest