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US Retail ETFs Deliver Solid Black Friday Gains

Town and Country stores
PHOTO: Small Business Trends

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracking U.S. retailers moved higher in shortened trading hours on Black Friday, outpacing broader market indexes.

While the S&P 500 index ended little changed, the Amplify Online Retail ETF climbed 0.4% and the broader SPDR S&P Retail ETF gained about 0.7%. Both continued to rise in after-hours trading.

Outpaced General Market Indexes

Retailers and analysts have warned of a lackluster outlook for this year’s holiday shopping season. During Black Friday’s shortened trading hours, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that follow US retailers had gains that outpaced general market indexes.

The Amplify Online Retail ETF rose 0.4%, and the larger SPDR S&P Retail ETF gained roughly 0.7%, despite the S&P 500 index finishing mostly unchanged. In after-hours trading, both kept rising. Analysts and retailers have issued gloomy predictions for this year’s holiday shopping season.

Even while the National Retail Federation, a group that advocates for big retailers, projects that the total value of US holidays would reach a record high of approximately $967 billion in 2023, the growth from 2022 of 3% to 4% would still be the lowest since 2019.

Retailers who have expressed concern about the future include Gap, Walmart, and Best Buy.Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer of Running Point Capital, stated, “I believe that some forecasts have been distorted by the recently ended United Auto Workers and Hollywood SAG-AFTRA actor strikes, which caused a pullback in spending among various large pockets across the country.”

Exchange Trade Funds

US Retail


According to Lipper data, the $396.6 million SPDR S&P Retail ETF saw weekly withdrawals of $115.6 in the week that concluded on Wednesday. In a month, that was the biggest drop.

Nonetheless, the majority of investors’ 2023 returns in US retail ETFs have occurred in recent weeks. While the SPDR fund has gained 4.98% since September 30, 2023 has seen it gain just 5.69%. Half of the VanEck Retail ETF’s 12.8% year-to-date gains have been produced in the last two months.

According to Schulman, retailers’ warnings of cautious, inconsistent, or weak consumer demand have scared investors in exchange-traded funds.

However, this holiday season, Thomas Hayes, chair of Great Hill Capital LLC in New York, expects better-than-expected increases in retail stocks.

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