Retail ETFs Enjoy Holiday Cheer

The once battered retail segment and sector-related ETFs are reveling in the holiday festivities as holiday sales rose at their quickest pace since 2011.

The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEArca: XRT), the largest retail ETF, gained 1.3% Tuesday and increased 12.0% over the past three months.

According to Mastercard SpendingPulse, U.S. retail sales over the holiday period advanced at their best pace since 2011 on high consumer confidence and a robust job market, reports Suzanne Kapner for the Wall Street Journal.

Sales, which exclude big ticket items like automobiles, rose 4.9% from the period between November 1 through Christmas Eve, compared to a 3.7% gain for the same period last year. Dec. 23 ranked next to Black Friday in terms of spending, according to Mastercard data.

Additionally, Mastercard revealed E-commerce continued to drive gains, rising 18.1% over the period. The trend away from traditional department stores and apparel retailers to online shopping destinations should benefit the Amplify Online Retail ETF (NasdaqGM: IBUY), which is comprised of global companies that generate at least 70% of revenue from online or virtual sales.