1. Its Black Friday, when retailers typically get 10% of their sales today. U.S. and Foreign markets will be closely watching what happens here today. Early this morning, Macy stores were reporting more traffic and sales than last year and they are expecting a really good day. The test for today comes around 2 PM to 3 PM when shoppers come back or drop in numbers. Watch for what happens in the markets from 3 PM to 4 PM today.
2. Every year, two weeks before Thanksgiving, I go to the Tanger Mall in Blowing Rock, NC. Many of you are familiar with the Tanger Malls in the East. They are a discount mall with stores ranging from Polo, to Coach, to Bass Shoes ... and a variety of others. We found the mall incredibly busy with no parking to be found anywhere. People where parking on the grass and up steep embankments. I talked with some store managers about the traffic. From prior years, I noted that the traffic was equivalent to the day after Thanksgiving in prior years. All the managers commented that, as busy as that weekend was, the prior weekend was much busier. If this was an indication of what today's sales should be like, then I would expect a surprise in expectations. The question is whether or not the Tanger Mall traffic was representative of the rest of the nation. Late afternoon sales today will tell us. Keep an eye on the RLX - retail index.
Today's retail sales are really a big event for the stock market. Good retail sales would be positive for retailers, charge card companies, shipping companies, and banks. Foreign markets, especially China, are worried about our retails because it would have an important impact on their exports.
Since retail sales are so important today, I waited until 10 AM to do this update. That way, we could take an early snapshot of what is happening.
I first looked at what the New York Stock Exchange Breadth was showing. Its one minute chart is below for the past two trading days.
Wednesday morning was down, and as the day went on, the $NYBR continued to move higher. At the end of the day, it had improved but was still in negative territory.
This morning, it shot up vigorously at the open as seen below.
The important index to watch today will be the RLX, Retail Index.
Note how this two day, two minute chart started moving up on Wednesday. At the open this morning, it jumped up and was at an new intra-day high 20 minutes into the trading.
Many analyst have been painting a picture of bleak sales this Christmas season. The shoppers at the Tanger Mall were telling a different story before Thanksgiving. What is interesting about the Blowing Rock location, is that shoppers travel 30 minutes to 2 hour+ to get there. They come in from Charlotte-NC, Tennessee, Virginia, and some from Georgia. This long distance travel for these shoppers negates the stories being told that gas prices will deter people from shopping.
The big test for today comes around 2 PM to 3 PM when shoppers come back or drop in numbers. Watch for what happens on the shopping scene from 3 PM to 4 PM today ... you can watch CNBC, or Bloomberg. The tally for this weekend's sales will also be important for next Monday. The markets will close at 1 PM today.