Nov. 13 - Macy's profit grew sharply despite the government shutdown in October, a sign that could bode well for its holiday shopping season. Fred Katayama reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~****~ What government shutdown? Macy's says its business was particularly strong in October. That helped fuel its earnings way beyond what Wall Street expected as the retailer bounced back from a disappointing second quarter. The owner of Macy's and Bloomingdale's department stores saw its sales at stores open at least a year rise 3.5 percent, and those sales improved in every region it operates. It's possible Macy's may also have benefited from the turmoil engulfing J.C. Penney. But the strong October could bode well for the retail giant's holiday season despite analysts' gloomy forecasts for overall holiday sales. Macy's is considered a bellwether of spending for middle to upper bracket shoppers. CEO Terry Lundgren said Macy's is "entering the fourth quarter with confidence." And Macy's is sticking to its outlook for sales and expects to beat analysts forecasts for full year earnings. Investors went shopping for Macy's stock, driving its shares sharply higher. Macy's stock is up more than 18 percent this year. The upcoming holiday sales season will be particularly fierce because it features six fewer shopping days. Like some other retailers, Macy's is opening its stores on Thanksgiving evening for the first time.