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By
Reuters
Published
Feb 7, 2011
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U.S. retailers beat estimates, January storms

By
Reuters
Published
Feb 7, 2011

NEW YORK, Feb 3 (Reuters) - January sales at major U.S. retailers blew past analysts' expectations as shoppers braved snowstorms in an unexpected sign of consumer strength.


Aeropostale visual

Some retailers, including Limited Brands Inc (LTD.N), Gap Inc (GPS.N), Aeropostale Inc (ARO.N) and TJX Cos Inc (TJX.N), also raised their profit estimates for the holiday quarter, cheering investors who were worried about rising costs of cotton and other commodities. The Standard & Poor's Retail index .RLX rose 1.1 percent.

Shares of Victoria's Secret parent Limited, apparel retailer Gap and upscale chain Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N) were among the top percentage gainers on Thursday.

"In a moment where investors are worried about increasing cost pressures, it was comforting to see some companies increase their bottom-line expectations," said Lawrence Creatura, a portfolio manager at Federated Clover Investment Advisors in Rochester, New York.

Retailers posted a 4.2 percent increase in sales at stores open at least a year, beating Wall Street expectations for a 2.7 percent gain, according to the Thomson Reuters same-store sales index of 28 companies.

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