Retail data, Walmart results signal holiday cheer

There is a string of upbeat retail news just days ahead of the unofficial start of the key holiday shopping season.

Government retail sales figures for the month of October released on Tuesday came in with a better-than-expected jump of 1.7 percent.

Even when adjusted for inflation, the sales numbers look good, as Americans likely started gift buying earlier this year.

Auto sales, which have been hampered by lack of supply due to a global chip shortage, rose for the first time in six months.

Walmart kept the good news flowing.

The King of retail beat sales and profit forecasts and it raised its full-year outlook.

Key sales at U.S. locations jumped more than 9 percent in the third quarter.

The retailer has circumvented the shipping delays impacting other retail and consumer-related companies by chartering its own vessels to make sure it can meet the expected demand for toys and apparel during the crucial holiday shopping season.

Walmart is also seeing a pick-up in foot traffic as inflation-battered consumers seek-out the deep discounter in order to make their dollars stretch.

Home Depot is also out with solid quarterly results.

The home improvement retailer easily exceeded quarterly sales forecasts buoyed by a strong housing market.

Just like Walmart, Home Depot is chartering its own cargo ship to make sure its shelves are fully stocked.

Even with that extra cost, a 20 percent surge in net profits still came in ahead of forecasts.

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