Healthier Retail Sales, but Will It Last?

Many retailers have raised guidance for their upcoming first-quarter earnings reports and saw modest gains in April sales. But stores warn that May could be a weak month due to a late Memorial Day this year. And concerns remain over the health of consumer demand.

March Retail Sales Surge As Shoppers Splurge

Sales of cars and gas helped push up March's retail sales figures, but there are also clear signs that shoppers have begun to spring for nonessentials such as clothes and housewares. The Commerce Department's retail and food services sales tally for March rose to $363.2 billion, up 7.6% from a year earlier.