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Family Dollar's earnings up 33 percent

Family Dollar's earnings jumped 33 percent in the second quarter as many other retailers continue to struggle during this downturn. Family Dollar has been on a roll this recession. It topped the list of Standard & Poor's 500 best performing stocks last year and sales are up 6.4 percent in the second quarter. 

Family Dollar says its core customers, low-income shoppers, are buying more consumables such as food and cleaning products. In addition, Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine told investors middle income shoppers are turning to Family Dollar as a cheaper alternative. "As the economy improves, I believe a lot of that trade-down customer will stick. I think they've seen the improvement in our business we've made in the last few years," says Levine.

Family Dollar says it has seen some of its biggest gains during times of economic recovery because of the new customers it attracts during a recession.