Yes, yes, those consumer confidence numbers yesterday were lousy. But let's see, Wal-Mart says Black Friday sales exceeded their expectations by 40 to 60 percent. And my guys Brian Wesbury and Bob Stein over at First Trust Advisers tell me:
Early holiday shopping reports show little reason to fear the Grinch. One widely reported data set was very strong, while a poll of consumers was somewhat weak. We think there are solid reasons to put our chips on the report showing consumer strength. According to ShopperTrak RTC Corp., sales at 50,000+ shopping centers and malls across the country were up 8.3% on "Black Friday" (the day after Thanksgiving) versus the same day last year. Black Friday sales totaled $10.3 billion this year versus $9.5 billion last year. When Saturday is included, sales were up 7.2%. And according to ComScore Inc., a Reston, Virginia-based firm, Thanksgiving Day purchases via the internet were up 29% versus last year, while Black Friday Internet sales were up 22%.
To paraphrase JP Morgan, no one ever got rich betting against America.