Sept Retail Sales were better than expected as they fell just 1.5% m/o/m, .6% better than forecasts, as the CARS program ended (motor vehicles, parts fell 10.4%). Ex the influence of auto’s, sales rose .5%, .3% more than expected and ex auto’s and gasoline, sales were up .4%, .2% higher than estimated. Component supplier Intel reported great earnings but final demand in today’s data is more uncertain as electronics sales were flat. There will no doubt be a Windows 7 replacement cycle, with the degree of ramp up being the question. All other groups except building materials and online sales were up. Furniture, health/personal care and food/beverages saw good gains. Bottom line, we saw better than expected retail comps last week and today’s data follows that theme as a late Labor day definitely gave things a boost.