To strengthen sales, American Eagle will promote key value-priced items rather than steep discounts, such as with its "all jeans under $30" promotion. The company also recently redesigned its women's line with more feminine styles. "As a company, we cannot accept this substandard performance -- recession or not," CEO Jim O'Donnell said.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's interview with "60 Minutes" that is scheduled to air Sunday appears to violate a central-bank practice that limits public comments by members of the Federal Open Market Committee the week before and after a meeting. It also marks the first television interview of a Fed chairman in 20 years. "The chairman thought this was a useful opportunity to communicate with a broad audience during an extremely stressful time," Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith said.
The market has priced REIT stocks about 40% below their projected asset values, and that is definitely an argument for buying. But SNL Financial real-estate analyst Jason Lail says the real-estate business is still slowing, and it is difficult to say whether it is quite time for REITs to begin their recovery.
Spring collections have appeared in luxury stores such as Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, but shoppers haven't. The industry has adjusted its orders, so retailers won't discount as steeply as they did over the holidays, and designers are working with stores such as Neiman Marcus to introduce midpriced merchandise.