US retail stocks rose after a report said last year's holiday season was 'better than anything we could have hoped for'

  • Retail stocks are up, some over 3%, on solid numbers from the National Retail Federation.
  • Sales rose 5.5% last November and December compared to the previous year.

Americans spent 5.5% more in November and December 2017, reaching $US691.9 billion, than they did the previous year, the National Retail Federation said Friday.

The holiday season was expected to be one of the best in a decade thanks to higher-than-usual consumer confidence and an increasingly lower unemployment rate, but the numbers released by the industry group were still a shock.

Here’s how some of the country’ largest retail stocks were doing in trading midday:

“We knew going in that retailers were going to have a good holiday season but the results are even better than anything we could have hoped for, especially given the misleading headlines of the past year,” the National Retail Federation’s President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release.

“Whether they shopped in-store, online or on their phones, consumers were in the mood to spend, and retailers were there to offer them good value for their money. With this as a starting point and tax cuts putting more money into consumers’ pockets, we are confident that retailers will have a very good year ahead.”

Building materials and supplies stores posted the biggest sales increases, rising by 8.1% over the previous year. Home furnishings and electronics/appliance stores came in just below at 7.5% and 6.1%, respectively.

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