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Holiday shopping season begins

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Yesterday at the turkey table, I began quizzing my nephew if he had gotten his list together for Santa. The question was not necessarily to get a pulse of this years hottest toys, but only to bring to his attention that his display of table manners and attitude were not indicative of good behavior and somebody out their might be taking notes and checking it against some type of list.

With energy prices rather low and the economy still rather slow, I reminded him that coal prices were perhaps at an attractive level where Santa might not think twice about saving himself some coin (slang for cash) and just fill his stocking with the black substance instead of taking the time to build him a new toy.

Rather quickly, his attitude improved and the shopping season began. No, he had not put together his list yet. He was still thinking to make sure he didn't request something that would be a waste or take away from some other coveted gift.

His attitude toward careful planning and taking his time may also be that of many shoppers this holiday season. We've all seen the 0% financing offered by car dealers this year and most likely, the closer we get to the end of December, the more likely we are to see some holiday bargains get bigger the longer we wait.

Retail Index Chart - weekly interval

The RLX.X lies just below its long-term downward trend from the April 2000 highs. Like the broader market indexes, the RLX.X has recovered from its September lows. Will holiday shoppers head to the counters in droves, giving the group and end-of-year surge. Look for the retail sales comparison numbers over the next couple of weeks to play big in how this group trades into the end of the year. A move above the 900 level, will most likely see a test of retracement at 916. A strong retail season could see a run to $984. Those waiting for a "bargain" might look for a pullback near the 832 level.

Retail Apparel/Discount Retail Stocks

Here is a quick list of publicly traded apparel and discount retail stocks. They're sorted by volume. Over the next week, we'll take a look at some and try to formulate opinions on which ones might be this holiday season winners.

On-Line/Catalogue Retail Stocks

Not everyone likes to go to the malls and fight the crowds. Here's a quick list of those retailers that sell their goods over the internet or through glossy catalogues.

I don't see many "toy" stores in the above list. They're hidden somewhere in q-charts and will get a list together later today.

Jeff Bailey
Senior Market Technician
Option Investor

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