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Will Rising Gas Prices Spoil Retail Sales Results?
CNBC.com | March 12, 2012 | 05:38 PM EDT

Rising gasoline prices could drag down retail stocks ahead of monthly sales figures, especially as fuel costs average $3.80 per gallon, up 50 cents year to date and up 30 cents over the past month.

“I think it’s a potential headwind, for sure,” Karen Finerman of Metropolitan Capital Advisors said Monday on “ Fast Money .”

Value shoppers could be disproportionately hit by higher prices at the pump, meaning pressure on retailers such as Wal-Mart.

“If we see higher prices as a result of the economy gathering strength and getting some momentum, then they’ll be OK,” Finerman said. “I’m a little worried about that customer.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Commerce will release retail sales figures for February, which are expected to be positive.

“Candidly, I think this environment still works for Costco,” said Drakon Capital’s Guy Adami .

Costco shares closed at a 52-week high of $89.59, and Adami said he would “nibble” at it on a pull-back to the mid-$80 level.

Trader Joe Terranova thought other economic indicators such as car sales and industrial production would bode well for retail sales.

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