Thursday, February 23, 2017

National News

US retailers posted strong sales in January, perhaps a sign of higher consumer confidence: retail sales rose 0.4% last month, the Commerce Dept. said. Every major retail sector reported higher sales except auto dealers. Excluding autos and gas, retail sales rose 0.7%. Outlets such as Best Buy saw a 1.6% rise in sales, the largest in a year and a half. Clothing and sporting goods stores posted gains of 1% or more. Sales at bars and restaurants advanced 1.4%. Department stores, whose sales fell sharply in 2016, surged 1.2%, the largest increase in more than a year. Among retailers still reporting monthly sales, L Brands was down 1.0%, Gap was up 4.0%, and Costco was up 3.0%. See our sales reports below...Walgreens Boots Alliance and Rite Aid extended their merger agreement under which Walgreens Boots Alliance will acquire all outstanding shares of Rite Aid. Under the terms of the amendment, the parties have agreed to reduce the price for each share of Rite Aid common stock to be paid by Walgreens. In addition, Walgreens Boots Alliance will be required to divest up to 1,200 Rite Aid stores and certain additional assets if required to obtain regulatory approval. The exact price per share will be determined based on the number of divestitures. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

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