Retail Sales Register Fourth Straight Monthly Gain
"Consumers had a promising start to the third quarter. Now let's keep it going, please," said Jennifer Lee, economist at BMO Capital Markets. Retail sales overall rose a sluggish 0.2 percent in July, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Ahead of the report, economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected sales to rise 0.3 percent, and 0.4 percent stripping out the automobile category. But most of that weakness was due to a steep drop in automobile sales after strong gains in May and June.