Investors who bought supermarket stocks in January and sold them by July did a lot better in 2007 than those who held on to the bitter end. Not all food retailers followed the pattern, but many issues that showed remarkable gains through the first half of 2007 fell almost as sharply in the second half as investors grew increasingly concerned about the economy and consumer spending, and about retailers' ability to maintain margins amid cost pressures. “It was a battle in investors' minds ...

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