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Luxury stocks doing well as one might expect

By Dian Vujovich

Having loads of money to spend is an awfully nice thing. Especially in these troubled times when few are walking Worth Avenue because it’s all torn up and the rest of the economic world looks as though it’s being ripped up too. But don’t let looks deceive you. Some of the stocks doing in this market are those representing the pricey stores where it’s clear that shopping is in.

Take shares of Apple (AAPL), for instance. Walk into any Apple store and you know you’ve arrived at someplace special that caters only to those with bucks to spend. The store at The Gardens Mall has an air of highfalutin computocracy to it. (I made that word up; Sarah does that too, so it’s okay). It’s a really cool yet clearly expensive store where the sales people do in fact know their product line. And that’s paid off. Over the past 52-weeks the stock has increased in value by 100 bucks—from about 149 a share to 250. Serious iPad sales and even the problems with their new iPhone haven’t seemed to hurt the stock much–although it’s off about 20 bucks from its this year high of $270.

Then there’s Tiffany & Co. (TIF). If you just love that robin’s egg shade of blue that they package everything in, you’re not alone. Apparently sales in their New York store were up 26 percent during the first quarter of this year. Throw Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy into the fold and that mega-luxury firm has reported 1st quarter sales up 20 percent. The Swiss watch federation said that exports of their luxury watches to the U.S. were up 12 percent in May and as a result up 9 percent for the year. And Nordstrom’s (JCP) saw sales grow by nearly 20 percent, Saks (SKS) by 2.5 percent, all according to a MoneyWatch story titled, “The Rich Are Winning” (http://tinyurl.com/365z8oz).

Decide to drive to Costco on North Lake Blvd and you’ll find the parking lot still relatively crowded this summer with more lux automobiles parked in it than not. As for sales, they are up in both Costco’s (COST) U.S. and international markets.

So if you’re prone to letting all the economic doom and gloom stories get you down. Don’t buy it. The wealthy aren’t hurting and clearly haven’t stopped spending.

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