The traditional axiom that supermarkets are a defensive sector that investors flock to in a weak economy went out the window in 2009. Shell-shocked stock-market players who pulled their money out in late 2008 in the wake of the real estate and banking implosions seemed to have little appetite for most traditional supermarket shares last year. This was despite the overall recovery of the stock market and some seemingly favorable trends, such as a decline in restaurant spending and an ...

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