So Was This Holiday Season The Best Or Worst Retail Year Ever?

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So what you are saying is.... "it was the best of times, it was the worst of time" ?

Two different articles on CNBC.com are saying two completely different things about how good or bad the holiday retails season was.

Trump likes to call the media “fake news” and with contradicting stories coming out of CNBC it is easy to see where his feelings come from.

The day after Christmas, the business website published two articles saying completely different things about our economy.

One article, published at 9:30am on Wednesday ran with the headline “Retail is having its best holiday season in 6 years.” The article states that retail sales in the U.S. are up 5.1 percent from November 1st through Christmas Eve.

The published article quotes Mastercard SpendingPulse saying that Americans spent more than $850 billion. The numbers included Amazon, which says they sold a record number of products this Christmas season.

The article was optimistic and quite different from another one published two hours before the one above.

“Retail is on pace for worst December ever, but New Year rally could be ahead” is the headline to another article that seems at odds with the results from the first article.

According to the stock market, the retailers are having a bad year, possibly the worst December in history. The XRT retail ETF is down a massive 17% this month and is the worst December yet in the 12-year history of the ETF.

The articles points to the decline in stock valuation as the catalyst for the headline, but doesn’t include the actual revenue the companies brought in for the season.

The stock market has been in a free-fall lately and even though the S&P 500 is down more than 12 percent, companies like Macy’s Target and Kohl’s have only dropped 10 percent. The retailers losing less than the S&P average suggests that the companies are not doing as bad as the article portrays, but the losses are part of a much larger drop in the market in general.

When the two headlines are put side by side, it is as if CNBC can’t make up their minds on how well the economy performed during the holiday season. It was either the best it has been in a while or the worst… it depends on what CNBC article you choose to read.

What are your thoughts on the seemingly contradicting articles by CNBC? Let us know in the comments below.