Boost for retail stocks

SAN FRANCISCO – Shares of Amazon.com Inc, Macy’s Inc), Kohl’s Corp and other US retailers rose on Friday on early signs that consumers are on track to spend more this holiday shopping season than in previous years.

Although there were few signs of the frenzy that had been a hallmark of the start to the crucial US shopping season in years past, known as Black Friday, industry watchers were upbeat.

“The turnout this morning has been relatively slow but it is still the best we have seen in three years,” said Burt Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resources Group, citing improving consumer confidence, a strong job market and healthy housing prices.

“We expect it to pick up as the day progresses.”

Adobe Analytics forecast online Black Friday sales of $US5 billion ($F10b), which would be a record high. Online retailers will rake in an additional $US6.6b ($F13b) on Cyber Monday, according to Adobe.

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, rallied 2.6 per cent to a record high, bringing its gain in 2017 to nearly 60 per cent.

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