Retailers' stocks jump after big holiday weekend
PORTLAND, Ore.—Most retailers are feeling quite merry after the start of the holiday shopping season drew a record number of visitors to their websites and stores. Shares of most major retailers soared in Monday trading, amid a broad market rally.
The National Retail Federation estimates a record 226 million shoppers went to stores and websites during the four-day holiday weekend that started on Thanksgiving Day, up from 212 million last year. Each of them spent more this year too, shelling out $398.62 over the weekend, on average, compared with $365.34 a year ago.
"Black Friday did not disappoint," Wedbush analyst Gabriella Santaniello wrote in a research note.
She and other analysts credited earlier store openings for the unusually strong start.
Popular destinations for shoppers such as Walmart, Kohl's and Target saw their stock prices rise. In afternoon trading Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s shares rose 42 cents to $57.31. Target Corp.'s shares were up 66 cents to $51.87. Kohl's Corp.'s shares rose 95 cents to $52.76.
KeyBanc analyst Edward Yruma said that luxury retailers, which cater to the segment of the population feeling least pressured in the weak economy, are still his favorite picks, although they did not offer big discounts to get shoppers in their doors. Shares of Saks Inc. jumped 56 cents -- 6.5 percent -- to $9.05. Shares of Tiffany & Co and Coach both climbed by more than 6 percent.
The Standard & Poor's retail Index was up 3 percent by early afternoon.
"Retailers continued to be more aggressive at the start of the holiday season," Jeffries & Company Inc. analyst Daniel Binder said in a research note. "Early indications suggest this resulted in a good start to the season, but we expect a barbell shaped season as usual."
The weekend after Thanksgiving is usually a big draw for shoppers, followed by slower, steady sales that pick up again as the holidays draw near.