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Retail earnings offer early signs of optimism

Upscale companies see more consumer spending

7:24 PM, Aug. 20, 2013
Best Buy announced Tuesday that the company's net income rose sharply in the second quarter, as the struggling electronics retailer slashed costs and worked to make its website more competitive.
Best Buy announced Tuesday that the company's net income rose sharply in the second quarter, as the struggling electronics retailer slashed costs and worked to make its website more competitive.
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Major U.S. retailers gave investors at least a little reason for financial optimism in closely watched earnings reports Tuesday.

But the news was tempered by reports of a continuing difficult sales climate - and with wider losses and plunging stock prices at bookseller Barnes & Noble.

The range of results from strong to weak reflects the mixed data in the government's reports on retail sales in recent months, said Chris Christopher, director of consumer economics at IHS Global Insight. People living paycheck to paycheck are watching their spending carefully, which is showing up in weaker ...

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