The low end of the retail universe continues to suffer from energy costs, weak income improvements, and a difficult job market.
New Jobless claims surprised to the upside, with another 8,000 added to the ranks of newly unemployed, versus a consensus of -14,000. That sends new weekly unemployment claims to 357,000. Many Economists use 350k as their line in the sand for whether the economy is creating jobs faster than population is growing. Applications for unemployment benefits now stand at a 10-week high.
All this suggests that the glass is half filled; The pace of job creation, which some have quite charitably described as "modest," continues to show signs of slowing.