March 25 - As the retail industry’s fourth-quarter earnings season comes to an end, investors are judging the pace of first quarter, which ends April 30 at many companies. So far, the pace could be described as “snail-like.”
Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to grow 2.2 percent — down from an estimate of 6.5 percent at the beginning of the quarter. However, the Consumer Discretionary sector has seen an even bigger drop, falling to the current 6.2 percent expectation from 14.5 percent expected growth forecast on January 1. For retailers, the same store sales growth estimate for Q1 now bumps along at 1.3 percent, down from 2.4 percent in January.
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