Retail sales show some signs of life

Have retail sales turned the corner?

Many chains reported that same-store sales were merely awful instead of cataclysmic. The major stock indexes rallied on the new indicating that investors are beginning to believe predictions that the economy may turn around late this year or early next year.

Leading the way was Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), which said U.S. comparable store sales rose 5.9 percent during the April due to strong demand for Easter merchandise. The biggest retailer has benefited as consumers "trade down" to the chain from pricier rivals. Overall, net sales rose 2.4 percent to $29.853 billion.