NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 11/16/12 -- Retail stocks have performed admirably in 2012 despite concerns of a global economic slowdown. The Standard and Poor's 500 Retailing Index has gained 22 percent year-to-date, compared to a gain of 10 percent for the S&P 500 Index. Retail Metrics Inc. last month reported that U.S. same store sales of the companies tracked by the research firm increased 3.9 percent in September, topping analysts' estimates of 3.7 percent. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Retail Industry and provides equity research on Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) and American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO).
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Recent data has shown that consumer spending in September saw its biggest increase in 6 months. The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending increased 0.8 percent in September, which was twice the gain seen in personal income, after a 0.5 percent gain in August. According to Bloomberg, economists had predicted a gain of 0.6 percent.
"The strength in September gives consumer spending a good lift for the fourth quarter," said Stephe Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities LLC. "The housing market seems to have turned. Consumers are clearly feeling better and are going out and spending a bit more."
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As of January 28, 2012, Abercrombie & Fitch operated 946 stores in the United States and 99 stores outside of the United States. Shares of the company soared over 30 percent Wednesday after reporting strong third quarter results. Abercrombie & Fitch reported a net income of $71.5 million, an increase of 40 percent when compared to the year-ago quarter.
American Eagle Outfitters is a specialty retailer that operates in the United States and Canada, and online at ae.com. The company operates more than 1,000 stores in North America, and ships to 77 countries worldwide through its websites. American Eagle Outfitters has scheduled to release their third quarter 2012 financial results on November 26, 2012.
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