- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 7, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation’s retailers are reporting signs of life in December sales figures that show modest holiday gains. Several are raising profit outlooks because they didn’t have to resort to drastic price-cutting because of lean inventories.

As merchants report results Thursday, warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp., The Buckle and Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc. are reporting gains.

Even Sears Holdings Corp. is announcing a small increase because of strength at Kmart stores. Sears and Limited Brands are among retailers raising profit outlooks.

Stragglers included jewelry chain Zale Corp.

The sales figures are based on sales at stores open at least a year and are considered a key indicator of a retailer’s health.

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