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October Retail Sales Rose on Online Shopping and Restaurant Sales

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Retail sales in October

The US Department of Commerce reported that retail sales rose 0.1% in October 2015 after staying flat in September. October 2015 retail sales rose by 1.7% as compared to October 2014. Earlier, retail sales were expected to grow 0.3%, but motor vehicle sales missed forecasts. According to a report by the Department of Commerce, sales in motor vehicles and parts fell 0.5% in October after increasing by 1.4% in September.

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In October, building material and garden equipment sales increased by 0.9% while health and personal care store sales increased by 0.7%, according to the US Department of Commerce. Meanwhile, gasoline station sales fell by 0.9% on a month-over-month basis and 20.1% year-over-year. Retail sales for general merchandise stores fell 0.4% in October while sales for sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores rose by 0.4 in October, according to the report.

Top retail companies and their performance

One of the top retail companies in terms of revenue is Walmart (WMT) with a net revenue of $119.3 billion for its second quarter ending July 2015. Walmart is followed by Costco Wholesale (COST) with a net revenue of $35.0 billion for the fourth quarter ending August 2015 and Kroger (KR) with net revenue of $25.5 billion for the second quarter ending August 2015.

For the fourth quarter ending August 2015, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) had a net revenue of $28.5 billion. As of November 19, the company returned 10.5% on a YTD (year-to-date) basis. Kroger returned 17.5%, Costco rose 19.9%, and Walmart fell by 28% on a YTD basis in 2015. Meanwhile, the Fidelity Select Retailing Portfolio (FSRPX) returned 18.2% on a YTD basis. The fund had net assets under management of $1.6 billion as of October 2015.

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