(Stock prices updated at the close of market.)
NEW YORK (
) -- Is it possible that retailers might -- perish the thought -- have a happy holidays this year?
According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, retailers will find more than coal in their stockings this Christmas. The research firm predicts a 1% bump in same-store sales at chain stores during the traditional November to December holiday shopping period.
"The wear and tear of the recession and financial crisis on the consumer psyche is slowly giving way to renewed hope, optimism and most-likely gift buying," Michael P. Niemira, chief economist and director of research for ICSC said in a statement.
This wasn't the only good news for the sector. An analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets also said Santa Claus could be making some stops at some stores this year/
"We are optimistic that consumer confidence will continue to improve and view this as a critical positive factor for spending during the holiday season," analyst Bradley Thomas wrote in a note.
Thomas also said a recovery in the stock market may make consumers more confident about their savings and wealth this year.
Retail shares received a boost on Monday, as some big mergers-and-acquisition activity from
lifted the sector.
is one of the days biggest gainers, jumping 6% to close at $16.57 after the skate- and surf-inspired retailer
. The company now expects earnings in the range of 12 cents to 14 cents a share, from a prior forecast of 5 cents to 7 cents.
There were some other notable gainers in the office supply sector.
soared 6% to $13.15,
was up 5% to $6.41 and
increased 2% to $23.24.
rose 3% to close at $47.71,
shot up 5% to $7.04,
spiked 7% to $23.54,
gained 5.5% to $7.14 and
inclined 4% to close at $37.62.
--Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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