With the holiday shopping season underway, retail exchange traded funds are strengthening on retail sales growth despite broader market weakness on concerns of the so-called fiscal cliff.

The Market Vectors Retail ETF (NYSEArca: RTH) was up 0.2% Thursday and has gained 2.9% over the past month. RTH reflects the performance of a modified market capitalization weighted index that tracks the 25 largest, most liquid U.S. retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Amazon, Home Depot and Costco, among others. [Retail ETFs Size Up Holiday Apparel Sales]

According to the Commerce Department, retail and food service sales rose 0.3% over the past month, and year-over-year, November sales expanded 3.7%, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“We’re off to a fairly strong holiday-spending season,” Millan Mulraine, senior U.S. strategist for TD Securities, said in a Bloomberg article. “Consumer spending could offset some of the weakness” in other areas, he added.

Electronics and appliance stores sales rose 2.5% while nonstore retailers, which include online shopping, saw sales advance 3.0%. Moreover, motor vehicle sales and parts was 1.4% higher.

However, gasoline sales dropped 4%, and spending at department, general merchandise and grocery stores also fell.

Some other retail ETFs include:

  • SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEArca: XRT)
  • PowerShares Dynamic Retail Portfolio (NYSEArca: PMR)

Market Vectors Retail ETF

For more information on the retail sector, visit our retail category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

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