By Kim Khan
Investing.com – The market was hesitant about retail sector at the close of trading yesterday after Target (NYSE:TGT) reported disappointing holiday sales.
But the spring was back in the step of retail investors Thursday after strong government numbers were backed up by a bullish report on holiday shopping from the National Retail Federation.
SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSE:XRT) was up 1% in midday trading.
Walmart (NYSE:WMT) gained 0.4%, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) rose 0.5%, Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) was up 0.6% and TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) climbed 1.2%.
Target (NYSE:TGT) lost another 0.9% today as it looked like more of the outlier in a overall strong holiday period.
Core retail sales, which exclude autos, popped 0.7% in December, the Commerce Department reported before the bell.
And holiday retail sales rose 4.1% to $730.2 billion from the same period a year ago, the National Retail Federation reported during trading.
That rise was at the high end of the NRF’s October guidance and well ahead of the 2.1% gain seen in 2018.
“This was a healthy holiday season, especially compared with the decline in retail sales we saw at the end of the season in 2018,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said in a statement. “Despite a late Thanksgiving and worries about tariffs, the consumer didn’t go away. We’ve had months of strong employment numbers, high wages and strong household balance sheets.”