Sector Update: Retailers Mixed as Black Friday Shopping Hype Continues Amid Analysts' Pessimism

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Stocks in major retailers such as JC Penney ( JCP ), Target ( TGT ) and Macy's ( M ) were mixed midday as the hype around Black Friday shopping continues, even though retail analysts are predicting the weakest holiday sales season since 2009.

As many as 140 million people planned to shop in stores and online on Thursday through Sunday, the National Retail Federation said, down from 147 million last year. There are also six fewer days this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the time of year when retailers get the bulk of their sales.

J.C. Penney stock rose as much as 3% to $10.30 early in the day's trading session but is now up at $10.15. The company opened its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving this year, its earliest Black Friday opening ever.

Target ( TGT ) has dropped after the initial euphemism tied to its Black Friday kickoff on Thursday boosted the stock by 1.2% in earlier trading. The company said the kickoff was very successful, with traffic strong across all its channels. The stock was recently trading down 0.5% at near $64, but coming back off day lows.

On Target.com, where nearly all doorbusters were available on Thanksgiving Day, traffic and sales were among the highest TGT has seen in a single day. In the early morning hours after the doorbusters first became available, Target.com saw two times more orders versus last year at that time.

Walmart ( WMT ) stock has gained 0.3% and hit record highs. The giant discount retailer said it had record-breaking Black Friday results, without giving sales numbers. WMT said it had 22 million customers on Thanksgiving Day last year.

This year, it had "even more customers," the company said. It processed more than 10 million register transactions in its stores from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and its website processed nearly 400 million page views on Thanksgiving Day, although the company didn't provide sales results for the transactions or information on how many page views resulted in transactions.

Macy's, meanwhile, is now down 0.2% after gaining 1.4% earlier in the trading session. But at least it is back above a day low $53.08. Amazon jumped 1.8% to new record highs.

Best Buy ( BBY ) gained 2% to near $40.40.



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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: BBY , JCP , M , TGT , WMT

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