Shoppers were out in full force on Black Friday, as the day after Thanksgiving set a new record for retail sales.
According to ShopperTrak, U.S. shoppers spent a record $11.4 billion at retail stores and malls this Black Friday – a $1 billion improvement over 2010, the biggest year-to-year increase since 2007. For the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, Thursday through Sunday, shoppers spent a whopping $52.4 billion in the U.S., according to the National Retail Federation. That was also a new record.
The largest Black Friday hauls were made by usual suspects such as Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), and Macy’s (NYSE: M). But several smaller companies also mopped up.
American Eagle (NYSE: AEO) and Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD) made a killing on Black Friday, several analysts told the Associated Press. Randal Konik of Jefferies and Co. said in a client note that Limited Brands, which owns Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret and four other retail chains, was among this year’s biggest Black Friday winners. Jeff Black of Citi Investment Research said that strong traffic at American Eagle’s clothing store outlets suggest that its sales were also high.
The two retail stocks shot up rapidly on the mere rumor of their Black Friday success. American Eagle was up nearly 6 percent to $13.65 a share in late-morning trading today. Limited Brands was up 5 percent to $40.21 a share. Each stock was outpacing the major indices, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 2.62 percent, the Nasdaq up 3.45 percent, and the S&P 500 up 3.07 percent at 11:30 this morning.
Amazon and Macy’s had also made big gains today. Macy’s was up 5.81 percent to $31.16 a share. Amazon was up more than 6 percent, trading at $193.53 a share, after the company reported that its new Kindle Fire electronic tablet was a big seller on Black Friday.