Salient to Investors:

Retailers from Macy’s to Wal-Mart Stores missed Q2 sales estimates and cut forecasts.

Jennifer Davis at Lazard Capital Markets sees a shift away from spending on apparel and discretionary items to spending on homes and automobiles as consumers feel better, are willing to spend on larger item purchases and are doing without things they can live without. Americans are replacing cars after postponing such purchases for years.

Adrienne Tennant at Janney Montgomery Scott said back-to-school spending so far is anemic at best, and this usually has had a high correlation with holiday sales.

The National Retail Federation estimates US households will spend an average of 7.8 percent less for back-to-school shopping this year because of the bumpy economic recovery.

Ken Perkins at Retail Metrics said aggressive promotions across the mall, particularly over Labor Day weekend, are raising concerns about retailers’ Q3 margins.

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