Disappointing Numbers Coming?

U.S. retailers will report same-store sales tomorrow for December. And many are hinting that the numbers aren't going to be good.

Many U.S. retailers are expected to report disappointing December sales later this week, hurt by everything from the challenging economy to unfavorable weather to the calendar, which shifted more holiday sales to November.

Though media reports say apparel sales picked up after Christmas, analysts said some retailers' quarterly earnings estimates are at risk as higher gasoline prices and recession fears in the face of a still-weakening housing market weigh on consumer spending.

"We do believe that traffic was lighter compared to last year and also promotionally driven," Credit Suisse softlines retail analyst Paul Lejuez said on Tuesday during a conference call previewing December sales.

"We really do question what is likely to drive the consumer through the mall to shop for apparel this spring," he added.

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