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Walmart Stands Out Amid Choppy Retail Sector

According to a few data points we got this week, consumer spending appears on the wane. Retail sales were soft in March, sentiment is at a seven-month low and some folks are worried about where we go from here.

That may have investors getting nervous. Sure, Target (NYSE:TGT) and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) are both up 15% year-to-date, topping the otherwise impressive 10% returns for the S&P 500 in the same period.

But mall retailers like Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) have been under pressure in 2013, and disasters like JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) show how challenging the retail environment is right now amid a weak economy and a margin pinch thanks to online powerhouse Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN).

So what’s the score?

Charles Sizemore says Walmart stock remains a good long-term buy on a pullback, and that investors shouldn’t read all that much into consumer data and fears about the payroll tax increase finally coming home to roost.

That said, he’s not all that optimistic about teen retailers at the mall and urges caution if you’re treading into this trade.

Take a listen in the podcast above and check out the links below for more on retail stocks and consumer sentiment.

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Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of “The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks.” Write him at editor@investorplace.com or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing he did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.

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