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Editorial Results (free)

1. Venture Investments Highest Since 2001 -

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into a growing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

2. Bad Weather Hurts Fred’s February Sales -

Memphis-based discount retailer Fred’s Inc. said Thursday that February sales at stores open at least a year fell 2.2 percent, hindered by severe winter weather.

The performance surprised analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who were expecting a 0.2 percent increase in the metric.

3. Bad Weather Hurts Fred's February Sales -

Memphis-based discount retailer Fred's Inc. said Thursday that February sales at stores open at least a year fell 2.2 percent, hindered by severe winter weather.

4. Fred's Says Bad Weather Hurt Sales, Profits -

Fred's Inc. said Thursday that its sales were hurt in January by bad weather that also cut into the retailer's profit for the quarter.

5. Fred's Says Bad Weather Hurt Sales, Profits -

Fred's Inc. said Thursday that its sales were hurt in January by bad weather that also cut into the retailer's profit for the quarter.

6. Walgreen Sales Reading Climbed in December -

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Walgreen said Monday that a key sales measurement improved in December as customers filled more prescriptions during trips to the company's drugstores.

The company said sales at stores open at least a year grew 6.1 percent for the month, mostly because revenue from pharmacy departments improved. At stores open at least one year, pharmacy revenue rose 9 percent and sales of non-pharmacy items sold at the front of its stores increased 2.5 percent.

7. Raymond James Boosts Local Community Efforts -

A new website and a significant sponsorship are two of the latest ways Raymond James Inc. is demonstrating its commitment to Memphis.

8. Fred’s September Sales Figure Rises -

Fred’s Inc., the operator of a chain of nearly 700 discount stores in the southeastern U.S., said Thursday, Oct. 10, that an important sales measurement rose 2.8 percent in September compared with a year ago.

9. Fred's September Sales Figure Rises -

Fred's Inc., the operator of a chain of nearly 700 discount stores in the southeastern U.S., said Thursday, Oct. 10, that an important sales measurement rose 2.8 percent in September compared with a year ago.

10. Retailers See Slow Start to Back-to-School Season -

NEW YORK (AP) – Shoppers are holding off on back-to-school shopping, and those who delay long enough might be rewarded with some steep discounts from desperate retailers.

Revenue at stores open at least a year – an industry measure of a retailer's health– rose 3.8 percent in July, the slowest pace since March, according to a preliminary tally of 10 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers. The figure, which excludes drugstores, was below a 5.5 percent increase in June.

11. Fred's Says Sales are Up for July, Second Quarter -

MEMPHIS (AP) – Discount retailer Fred's Inc. said a key revenue measurement rose 2.5 percent in July to $142.2 million.

12. Fred’s Key Revenue Figure Rises in June -

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. said Thursday its June revenue at stores open at least a year rose 4.5 percent, helped by warmer weather and stronger sales of food.

Analysts expected a smaller 1.1 percent rise, according to a Thomson Reuters poll. The metric is a key measure of a retailer’s health, because it excludes revenue at stores that recently opened or closed.

13. Retailers Report Strong Gains for June -

NEW YORK (AP) – June sales heated up for stores, in a sign that Americans likely will continue to spend during the important back-to-school shopping season.

U.S. retailers reported their strongest sales gains since January, as shoppers, enticed by warm weather and an improving economy, took advantage of summer discounts.

14. Fred’s Key Revenue Figure Rises in June -

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. said Thursday its June revenue at stores open at least a year rose 4.5 percent, helped by warmer weather and stronger sales of food.

Analysts expected a smaller 1.1 percent rise, according to a Thomson Reuters poll. The metric is a key measure of a retailer’s health, because it excludes revenue at stores that recently opened or closed.

15. Thomson Reuters Suspends Early Data Access -

Thomson Reuters will suspend its practice of distributing results from consumer surveys a couple seconds early to clients who pay the news and business information provider for advance access.

A company spokeswoman said Monday that Thomson Reuters will simultaneously distribute survey data at 9:55 a.m. starting Friday from the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers after the New York State attorney general requested the suspension.

16. Conference Board Fears Diversion of Economic Data -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Conference Board will no longer provide its economic reports in advance to news organizations because it suspects the data is being diverted early to computer-driven trading systems, which can unfairly profit from it.

17. Fred’s Key Revenue Metric Falls 0.5 Percent for May -

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. said Thursday its May revenue at stores open at least a year fell 0.5 percent, as unusually cool weather continued to reduce demand for summer items.

The drop was smaller than Wall Street expected.

18. Fred’s Key Revenue Metric Falls 0.5 Percent for May -

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. said Thursday its May revenue at stores open at least a year fell 0.5 percent, as unusually cool weather continued to reduce demand for summer items.

The drop was smaller than Wall Street expected. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a decrease of 0.8 percent. The metric is a key measure of a retailer’s health, because it excludes revenue at stores that recently opened or closed.

19. S&P Takes Nasdaq Off Watch for Credit-Rating Cut -

NEW YORK (AP) – Standard & Poor's has decided against cutting the Nasdaq OMX Group's credit rating after reviewing how the exchange operator plans to pay for two acquisitions.

S&P said Monday that it's taking the Nasdaq off its watch list for a possible downgrade. The rating agency put Nasdaq on notice in April, after it announced plans to buy eSpeed, an electronic platform for trading U.S. government bonds, and three businesses from Thomson Reuters.

20. Small Business Borrowings Up for First Time in 2013 -

NEW YORK (AP) – Small businesses took out more loans and leases during April, the first increase in borrowing this year, according to an index released Wednesday.

The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index rose to 110.5 from the revised March level of 99. That brought borrowing levels back to where they were at the start of 2013.

21. Raymond James Adds Fellman as Senior Vice President -

Ted Fellman has joined Raymond James as a senior vice president in the firm’s public finance group.

Fellman, who is based in Nashville, has had an extensive career in state government, including serving 18 years with the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. His work with that group included stints as executive director and chief financial officer.

22. Fred’s Key Revenue Figure Falls 3 Percent in March -

Discount retailer Fred's Inc. said Thursday its March revenue at stores open at least a year fell 3 percent, hurt by unseasonably cool weather and a timing shift in the Easter holiday.

23. Fred’s Key Revenue Figure Falls 3 Percent in March -

Memphis-based discount retailer Fred’s Inc. said Thursday, April 11, its March revenue at stores open at least a year fell 3 percent, hurt by unseasonably cool weather and a timing shift in the Easter holiday.

24. Raymond James Adds Fellman as Senior Vice President -

Ted Fellman has joined Raymond James as a senior vice president in the firm’s public finance group.

Fellman, who is based in Nashville, has had an extensive career in state government, including serving 18 years with the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. His work with that group included stints as executive director and chief financial officer.

25. Fred's February Revenue Figure Declines 1.5 Percent -

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. reported Thursday that a key revenue figure fell 1.5 percent in February.

Fred’s also lowered its fourth quarter guidance due to markdowns and higher-than-expected costs.

26. Fred’s February Revenue Figure Declines -

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. reported Thursday that a key revenue figure fell 1.5 percent in February.

Fred’s also lowered its fourth quarter guidance due to markdowns and higher-than-expected costs.

27. Office Depot Agrees to Buy OfficeMax in Stock Deal -

NEW YORK (AP) – Office Depot and OfficeMax are being collated.

The retailers said Wednesday they have agreed to combine in an all-stock deal worth about $1.2 billion that would transform the office-supply retail sector by helping the No. 2 and No. 3 chains compete against industry behemoth Staples.

28. Thomson Reuters to Cut 2,500 Jobs -

NEW YORK (AP) – News and financial information company Thomson Reuters on Wednesday said it is cutting 2,500 jobs, or about 4 percent of its workforce, this year as it tries to reduce costs and turn around its largest division.

29. Retailers Report Strong January Sales -

NEW YORK (AP) – Sometimes, the devil is in the deals. Americans shopped the winter clearance racks in January, resulting in strong sales during the month for retailers.

But spending is expected to slow as the deals dry up heading into the spring, and Americans digest rising gas prices and a 2 percent payroll tax hike that started in January.

30. Fred’s December Sales Decrease 4.2 Percent -

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. said Thursday that revenue at stores open at least a year fell 4.2 percent last month as shoppers spent less money on fears about the economy.

The company also lowered its fourth-quarter earnings expectations, and its shares slipped in morning trading.

31. Fred’s December Sales Fall 4.2 Percent -

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. said Thursday revenue at stores open at least a year fell 4.2 percent last month as shoppers spent less money on fears about the economy.

The company also lowered its fourth-quarter earnings expectations.

32. Fred’s Sales Metric Falls 3.6 Percent in November -

Fred’s Inc. reported Thursday that its sales fell for November due to intense competition over the Thanksgiving weekend and the effect of the company’s increasingly popular layaway deals, which get reported later.

33. Oil Rises as Americans' Confidence Improves -

The price of oil rose Friday on a report that shows Americans’ perception of the economy is improving.

Benchmark crude was up 48 cents to $85.57 midday Friday.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index reveals that Americans feel better about the state of the world’s largest economy than any point in the last five years.

34. Storm Leads Companies to Postpone Earnings Reports -

NEW YORK (AP) – A number of major U.S. companies postponed quarterly earnings reports scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, as Hurricane Sandy barreled into the East Coast and caused the first unplanned shutdown of financial markets since 2001.

35. September Sales Figure Drops 3.8 Percent at Fred's -

Discount-store operator Fred’s Inc. said Thursday that a key revenue figure fell 3.8 percent in September, hurt by a shift of drug sales from name brand to generic in its pharmacy department.

36. Retailers Report Slower Sales Growth in September -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans may have slowed their spending in September after splurging during the start of the busy back-to-school shopping season in the month before. But most importantly, they were still spending.

37. Fred's September Sales Figure Drops -

Memphis-based discount-store operator Fred's Inc. said Thursday that a key revenue figure fell 3.8 percent in September, hurt by a shift of drug sales from name brand to generic in its pharmacy department.

38. Small Companies Borrow More But are Still Cautious -

Lending to small businesses rose only slightly in July, another sign that companies are hunkering down because of uncertainty about the economy.

A survey released Tuesday by PayNet, a research firm that tracks loans to small business, shows that lending rose 3 percent after falling five out of the previous six months. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index rose to 103.8 in July from a revised 100.5 in June.

39. Fred's August Revenue Falls 2.8 Percent -

Discount-store operator Fred’s Inc. said Thursday that a key revenue figure fell 2.8 percent in August, but the company said sales picked up a bit at the end of the month because of back-to-school shopping.

40. Fred’s, Other Retailers Report Tepid Sales -

NEW YORK (AP) – Shoppers, worried about jobs and the overall economy, pulled back on spending in June, resulting in tepid sales for many retailers, including Memphis-based Fred’s Inc.

41. Study: Small Business Lending Picked Up in June -

NEW YORK (AP) – Lending to small businesses is recovering after a four-month decline.

A study released Monday by PayNet, a research firm that tracks loans to small businesses, shows that lending rose 12 percent in May from April's levels. That's the largest increase since June 2009, when the economy was pulling out of the recession.

42. US Consumer Sentiment at Lowest Level for Year -

A measure of U.S. consumer sentiment fell in June to the lowest level for 2012, dragged down by a sluggish job market and weak growth.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment fell to 73.2 in June from 79.3 in May. Higher-income households said they planned to cut back on spending, accounting for much of the drop.

43. Will Shoppers' Increased Spending in May Last? -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans loosened their purse strings in May, but it may have been a temporary splurge.

Some major retailers such as Target and Macy's on Thursday posted sales increases that beat Wall Street estimates as shoppers were lured in by Mother's Day promotions and colorful new styles of clothing. The gains follow a dismal showing from the month before

44. US Filings for Unemployment Aid at a 5-Week High -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to a five-week high, evidence that the job market remains sluggish.

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment aid rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 383,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased for the first time in a month to 374,500.

45. Americans Grew Gloomier About the Economy in May -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans grew much gloomier about the economy in May, causing a critical measure of consumer confidence to suffer its biggest decline in eight months and ending a period of steady optimism.

46. April Retail Sales Worst Since 2009 -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans' spending – much like the economy – continues to yo-yo.

Major retailers such as Costco and Macy's reported on Thursday that April revenue rose less that 1 percent in the worst performance since 2009 when the U.S. economy was just coming out of a bad recession.

47. Fred's April Key Revenue Metric Dips 0.3 Percent -

Discount store operator Fred’s Inc. said Thursday, May 3, that its April revenue at stores open at least a year edged down 0.3 percent, missing Wall Street’s forecast.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected an increase of 0.6 percent.

48. Fred’s Sales Figure Flat in March -

Discount store operator Fred’s Inc. said Thursday, April 5, that March sales at stores open at least a year was flat from the same month a year ago. The results missed Wall Street expectations.

49. Retailers Report Positive March Sales -

NEW YORK (AP) – Retailers from discounter Target to department-store chain Macy's reported better-than-expected sales in March in the latest sign that Americans are feeling better about the economy.

50. Walgreen Revenue Figure Falls 4.6 Percent -

Drugstore operator Walgreen Co. said Monday, March 5, its monthly revenue from stores open at least a year slipped again in February, as a split with Express Scripts Inc. and a weak flu season continued to hurt business.

51. Key Revenue Measure Falls 4.6 Pct at Walgreen -

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Walgreen Co. said Friday that January revenue from stores open at least a year fell 4.6 percent, as a split with Express Scripts Inc. and a weak flu season hurt business for the largest U.S. drugstore chain.

52. Retailers Deliver Solid Sales Gains for January -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans were shopping in January, but not every store was feeling the love.

Retailers reported mixed sales results for the month in a sign that U.S. consumers continue to be cautious about when and where they spend their money in the shaky economy

53. Fred's Same-Store Sales Fall 0.8 Percent in Jan. -

Discount store operator Fred’s Inc. said Thursday, Feb. 2, that revenue at stores open at least a year fell by 0.8 percent in January, as its customers continued to struggle in the midst of a weak job market.

54. Macy's Raises Profit Outlook; Doubles Dividend -

CINCINNATI (AP) – Macy's Inc. is raising its earnings outlook for the fourth quarter and full year due to a strong holiday season and says it will double its quarterly dividend to 20 cents a share. The retailer is also increasing its share repurchase program by $1 billion.

55. Target Cuts Outlook After Dec. Misses Expectations -

NEW YORK (AP) – Target lowered its earnings expectations Thursday following a disappointing December, with consumers waiting until the last minute to shop as well as weak sales of electronics.

56. Retailers Report Solid Finale to Holidays -

NEW YORK (AP) – Many retailers are reporting solid sales gains for December, capping a decent holiday season, but shoppers bent on discounts exacted a high price.

Merchants had to mark down coats and other gifts to get shoppers to buy in a challenging economy. A mild winter also didn't help, wilting shoppers' appetite for cold-weather merchandise. That resulted in a string of retailers, including Target Corp., Kohl's Corp., J.C. Penney Co. and The Children's Place Retail Stores Inc., reducing their earnings outlooks.

57. Fred's Key December Revenue Figure Edges Down -

MEMPHIS (AP) – Discount store operator Fred's Inc. said Thursday that sales in stores open at least a year slipped by 0.4 percent in December, slowed by unseasonably warm weather.

58. Fred's Key Revenue Figure Up 1.5 Percent in November -

Memphis-based discount store operator Fred’s Inc. said Thursday, Dec. 1, that revenue in stores open at least one year rose 1.5 percent in November because more people came into its stores.

But analysts expected a larger 1.9 percent rise, according to Thomson Reuters.

59. Retailers Report Solid Sales Gains in October -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans were shopping in October, but they were spending at a slower clip than expected as they faced a barrage of bad economic news.

October revenue at stores open at least a year – an indicator of a retailer's health – rose 3.7 percent, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers' tally of 25 retailers. But 13 of 19 retailers missed Wall Street estimates for October revenue, according to Thomson Reuters. That included big merchants like Macy's, Saks and Target.

60. Fred's Key Revenue Figure Up 1.1 Percent -

MEMPHIS (AP) – Discount-store operator Fred's Inc. said Thursday that revenue in stores open at least one year rose 1.1 percent in September, boosted by sales of pet products and household supplies.

61. Walgreen September Sales Rise, But Miss Estimates -

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Walgreen Co. said Wednesday that its sales grew in September, but a key revenue measurement fell short of Wall Street expectations because of lower demand for flu shots and a mild cold season.

62. Tenure on Non-Existent Committee Expires -

Last month, the American Bar Association had its annual meeting in Toronto. Some 7,000 lawyers, judges and other legal professionals attended the meeting. I was not among them.

According to a Thomson Reuters news report, “The meeting got under way Thursday [Aug. 4], with judicial election reform and legal education high on the agenda.” The ABA was also going to consider various issues involved with judicial recusals, law student debt and job placement.

63. Survey: Consumer Confidence Ticks Up in September -

U.S. consumers were slightly more confident in the economy in September, but are increasingly worried about the future.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index inched up to 57.8 in September from 55.7 in August, according to a Reuters report. The August reading was the lowest since November 2008. Friday, Sept. 16’s report is a preliminary reading.

64. Walgreen Says Express Scripts Talks are Stalled -

NEW YORK (AP) – Drugstore chain Walgreen Co. reiterated Tuesday that it plans to stop filling prescriptions managed by Express Scripts Inc. on Jan. 1, saying contract renewal negotiations between the companies are stalled.

65. Target's Key Revenue Figure Up 4.1 Pct. in Aug. -

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Target Corp.'s revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 4.1 percent in August, driven by back-to-school shopping. The results announced Thursday topped Wall Street's forecast.

66. Fred's Sales Rise on Back-to-School, Pharmacy -

MEMPHIS (AP) – Discount retailer Fred's Inc. said Thursday its revenue at stores open at least a year rose 1.6 percent in August as more customers bought up school supplies and filled prescriptions.

67. Retailers Report Solid Sales Gains for July -

NEW YORK (AP) – Many retailers posted solid sales during the kickoff to the back-to-school season as discounts and high temperatures in July drove shoppers to air-conditioned malls. But merchants worry that momentum won't continue through the remainder of the second-biggest shopping period of the year as the weather gets cold and the deals dry up.

68. Walgreen July Sales Rise, Key Measurement Improves -

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Walgreen Co., the biggest drugstore chain in the U.S., on Wednesday reported July sales that were slightly better than Wall Street expected.

69. Morgan Keegan Mentioned in National Ranking -

Memphis-based Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. was the eighth leading underwriter of negotiated municipal bond issues in the country in the first six months of 2011, according to Thomson Reuters.

70. Consumer Confidence Rises in July -

NEW YORK (AP) — Two years into the recovery, Americans' confidence in the economy continues its rollercoaster ride.

As their short-term outlook on jobs and income eased somewhat amid a mix of optimistic and bad economic news, U.S. consumers' confidence rose slightly to 59.5 in July, according to a survey released Tuesday by a private research group.

71. Fred's Inc. Sees Fall in June Revenue -

Discount retailer Fred’s Inc. said Thursday, July 7, that its June revenue at stores open at least a year edged down 0.7 percent, falling short of Wall Street expectations. The company said it now expects its second-quarter net income to land in the lower half of its forecast range because its revenue was lower than expected in both May and June.

72. Builders Start More Homes but Pace Still Slow -

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. builders broke ground on more new homes in May, but not enough to signal a recovery in the troubled housing market.

Home construction rose 3.5 percent from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 units per year, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

73. Target Raises Quarterly Dividend Ahead of Meeting -

NEW YORK (AP) – Target Corp. raised its quarterly dividend by 5 cents to 30 cents, a 20 percent increase, as it sought to placate investors after a 22 percent decline in its stock price this year.

74. Walgreen Revenue Metric Rises 5.6 Percent in May -

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) – A key revenue measurement rose 5.6 percent at Walgreen Co. in May, the drugstore chain said Friday, better than Wall Street expected.

75. Pinched by Gas, Shoppers Pull Back Elsewhere -

NEW YORK (AP) – Shoppers are showing signs of pulling back on spending on discretionary items like clothing and home goods as gasoline and groceries eat up more of their paychecks.

Those pressures led many retailers on Thursday to report only modest revenue increases in May, the latest sign of the economy hitting a soft patch.

76. Home-Price Index Falls to Lowest Point Since 2002 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – An index of home prices in big metro areas has reached its lowest level since 2002, driven down by foreclosures, a glut of unsold homes and the reluctance or inability of many to buy.

77. Fred's April Revenue Figure Rises Slightly -

MEMPHIS (AP) – Fred's Inc. said Thursday that April revenue at locations open at least a year rose 1.8 percent, below analysts' expectations for the discount store operator as the company's stores faced severe weather in the Southeast.

78. Walgreen Key April Revenue Metric Rises -

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Drugstore operator Walgreen Co. said Wednesday a key measure of revenue rose in April, but the growth was slightly below Wall Street expectations.

79. Shopper Spending Surprisingly Strong in March -

NEW YORK (AP) – Shoppers shrugged off higher gas prices and cool temperatures to give retailers a surprisingly solid March.

Revenue reports Thursday from retailers from Costco to Victoria's Secret extend the streak of strong spending from late last year and suggest that an improving economy and recent job growth are outweighing pressure from higher pump prices.

80. Slow Start to Spring Projected for Retailers -

NEW YORK (AP) – A late Easter, lingering cold weather and rising gas prices are squeezing discretionary spending this spring, according to data being released Wednesday.

Figures from MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse show sales growth slowed in some categories last month. But consumers spent more on clothing – and most other items from electronics to luxury goods – than they did in March 2010.

81. Walgreen March Sales Top Wall Street Estimates -

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Walgreen Co. sales rose in March as the largest U.S. drugstore chain filled more prescriptions and its customers spent more money.

82. Target February Revenue Figure Up 1.8 Percent -

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Target said Thursday that a key revenue figure rose 1.8 percent for February, helped by sales of fresh food and by shoppers with its branded cards taking advantage of a 5 percent discount, but the results missed analyst expectations.

83. Walgreen's Key February Revenue Metric Rises -

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Drugstore operator Walgreen Co. said Thursday a key measure of revenue rose in February, but the growth was slightly below Wall Street expectations.

84. Dollar Signs -

From wealth management to accounting to investment firms, plenty of financial services companies in Memphis are enjoying a robust level of growth that might seem surprising to an outsider.

Yet it’s clear the economic recovery is well under way, and companies with strong fundamentals are reaping rewards.

85. Walgreen January Sales Rise, Top Key Measure -

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Drugstore operator Walgreen Co. said Thursday that its sales increased in January, topping a key sales measurement monitored by Wall Street.

86. Retailers Report Surprisingly Solid January Sales -

NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. retailers reported surprisingly solid January revenue gains Thursday that swept away fears that snowstorms in much of the country had chilled sales.

The reports, which are being compared with a respectable January 2010, offer encouraging signs that consumer spending is maintaining the momentum of the strong holiday season.

87. Retail Rebound? -

Retail sales are looking bright this year, a sign that the pendulum of consumer confidence is swinging back in the right direction.

Holiday sales are anticipated to increase a modest 3.3 percent this year – adjusted from 2.3 percent in November – according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). This year’s uptick follows 2008’s 3.9 percent decline and also tops the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 2.5 percent.

88. Walgreen 1Q Profit Jumps 18.8 Percent -

Walgreen Co., the largest drugstore operator in the U.S., said Wednesday that its net income jumped 19 percent in the fiscal first quarter as it continued to remodel thousands of stores and promotions were more successful.

89. Holiday Shoppers Sprint to End; Retail Revenue Up -

NEW YORK (AP) – Holiday shoppers are racing to the end of the season at a more feverish pace this year, with retail revenue up 5.5 percent during the last weekend before Christmas.

The figure, released by ShopperTrak on Wednesday, is a drastic improvement from the same weekend last year, when revenue dropped 6.2 percent. The final shopping weekend last year was marred by a big East Coast snowstorm.

90. Nucor Expects 4Q Loss of 10 to 15 Cents per Share -

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Steel maker Nucor Corp. expects to lose money in the fourth quarter as material costs rose and demand from construction markets remained weak.

91. Weak TV, Laptop Sales Hurt Best Buy 3Q Profit -

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Best Buy Co.'s third-quarter net income fell more than expected as it lost sales of TVs and laptops to competitors. It also cut its full-year outlook Tuesday.

92. Auto Parts Chain AutoZone Profit Jumps 20 Percent -

MEMPHIS (AP) – Net income at AutoZone rose 20 percent during the first quarter, the company said Tuesday, as many people continued to sink money into repairing older cars rather than buying new ones.

93. Walgreen November Revenue Surpasses Expectations -

DEERFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain, said Friday sales at stores open at least a year climbed 3.2 percent in November, more than Wall Street analysts expected.

94. Grocer Kroger Rings Up Q3 Profit -

CINCINNATI (AP) – Kroger Co. rang up better sales and returned to third-quarter profitability behind a focus on building customer loyalty in a rough economy, but the nation's largest traditional grocery operator says shoppers remain cautious.

95. Dillard's Key Nov. Revenue Figure Up, Tops Street -

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – Dillard's Inc. said Thursday that revenue at stores open at least a year rose 8 percent in November, benefiting from strong sales of shoes and juniors' and children's clothing.

96. Target November Sales Figure Beats Expectations -

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Discount retailer Target Corp. said Thursday more shoppers came to its stores in November and spent more than a year earlier, helping a key revenue figure rise 5.5 percent during the month, more than expected.

97. Holiday Shoppers Came Out to Spend in November -

NEW YORK (AP) – Generous discounts lured American to stores and online for holiday gifts in November, providing cheer and delivering the best gains for retailers in four years.

That raises hopes, already buoyed by reports of crowded malls and early numbers, for a strong holiday shopping season and is an encouraging sign for the economic recovery.

98. Optimism for 2011 Pushes Consumer Confidence Higher -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans’ confidence in the economy rose to a five-month high in November, showing increased optimism for the first half of next year.

The report offered some comfort to the nation’s retailers during the holiday shopping season, but shoppers still remain downbeat as they grapple with a high unemployment rate. Moreover, the latest report on housing, released Tuesday, showed that home prices weakened in September.

99. Earnings Preview: Kroger Co. -

CINCINNATI (AP) – The Kroger Co., the nation's largest traditional-format grocer, reports its third-quarter results before the stock market opens Thursday.

100. Medtronic Q2 Profit Falls 35 Percent on Costs -

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Medtronic’s fiscal second-quarter net income fell 35 percent as legal and other costs outpaced weak gains in medical device sales, but adjusted results met Wall Street expectations.