Sector Snap: Retail shares rise after sales report

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2009 2:39 PM

Shares of retailers rose on Friday, after the Commerce Department reported an unexpectedly encouraging November sales report.

The Commerce Department reported U.S. retail sales, excluding autos, rose 1.2 percent, triple the expected gain.

The report relieved investors worried about a rebound in consumer spending as unemployment remains high.

The Dow Jones U.S. retail index rose nearly 3 percent. The general market rose as well, up more than 60 points in afternoon trading.

Still, analysts remained cautious about the long-term retail sales figures.

"Consumer confidence is still down, and there's still great concern over people's jobs," said David Bassuk, a managing director in the retail practice at AlixPartners. The November report is "not going to change consumer purchasing behavior overnight with that news."

Macy's Inc. was one of the biggest gainers. Shares rose $1.05, or 6.6 percent, to $17.08 during afternoon trading. The stock has traded between $6.27 and $20.84 over the past year.

Saks Inc. shares rose 28 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $6.31. The stock has traded between $1.50 to $7.45 over the past year.

Shares rose across the retail sector.

Shares of Genesco Inc., which operates Journeys and Underground Station stores, rose 95 cents, or 4 percent, to $24.57. The stock has traded between $11.31 and $29.69 over the past 52 weeks.

Shares of off-price retailer Tuesday Morning Corp. rose 21 cents, or 8.4 percent, to $2.70. The stock has traded between 51 cents and $5.48 over the past year.

Shares of Charming Shoppes Inc., which operates Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug, rose 52 cents, or 10.1 percent, to $5.66. The stock has traded between 45 cents and $5.84 over the past year.