Retail stocks on track for best month ever as consumers stockpile goods due to coronavirus pandemic

Associated PressA customer is shopping in a Berlin supermarket with mouth and nose protection, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. In order to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, public life remains considerably restricted. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)

  • Retail stocks are on track for their best month ever as consumers stockpile goods due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The SPDR S&P Retail ETF, ticker XRT, is on track for a gain of 28% this month, which would best the previous monthly performance record of 22% set in April 2009.
  • The equal-weight exchange-traded fund is made up of 88 different stocks from the US retail industry, including Rite Aid, Stamps.com, and Etsy.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Retail stocks are on track for their best month ever as consumers stockpile goods due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The SPDR S&P Retail ETF, ticker XRT, closed the month of March trading at $US29.78. On Wednesday morning, the exchange-traded fund traded to a high of $US38.29, representing a gain of 28%.

If the ETF ends the month above $US36.33, it will have exceeded its previous monthly performance record of 22% set in April of 2009, according to historical data from Yahoo Finance.


Read more:
Brad Cornell has been teaching finance at UCLA for almost 40 years. He shares the precise way he calculates the true value of the S&P 500 – and says investors need to ‘be careful out there.’

The SPDR S&P Retail ETF is different from its market-cap weighted peers in that it is an equal-cap weighted ETF. That means the ETF gives a broader representation of the retail industry as a whole, rather than a market-cap weighted index that would be primarily concentrated in the largest retailers like Amazon and Walmart.

For example, the three top holdings in the XRT ETF are Rite Aid, Stamps.com, and Etsy.

The strong performance in retail stocks comes at a time when stay-at-home orders across the nation drive consumers to visit big-box stores and ecommerce platforms to load up on groceries and other consumer staple products.

Stifel said it thinks these four retailers stand to benefit from the recent trend of pantry loading, according to a note published on Monday.

Year-to-date, the XRT retail ETF is down 17% as of Wednesday morning.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.