US stocks : Dow up 1.4 pct
The retail sector rose as investors looked for signs of how much consumers are spending as stores lured shoppers with Black Friday deals and discounts.
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, kicks off the U.S. Christmas shopping season for retailers and is often the busiest shopping day of the year. The National Retail Federation expects sales during the holiday season to grow 4.1 percent this year compared with last year's 5.6 percent increase.
If the traffic and sales numbers look strong early on, it usually gives a sense that the season will be in line with expectations, said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
The way that could work against a stronger retail season is if there's no follow-through, there could be discounting on the part of retailers.
Wal-Mart rose 1.9 percent to $70.20, while Target gained 1.2 percent to $64.48.
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