NEW YORK (
) -- Retail stocks are surging as consumer spending in March saw its largest gain in five months.
The Commerce Department announced Monday that consumer spending rose 0.6% during the month, in-line with expectations. The S&P Retail Index is gaining 0.9% to 479.61 on the news, with some big winners in the sector.
Manufacturing also expanded at its fastest pace in nearly six years, according to the Institute for Supply Management. Its manufacturing index rose to 60.4 in April from 59.6 in March. Any reading over 50 implies expansion. This marks the index's its ninth straight month of growth.
Department stores, in particular, are experiencing a lift from the data, with
jumping 3.9% to $10.13,
rising 4.1% to $43.04,
advancing 2.1% to $56.15 and
gaining 3% to $28.93.
( BBI) is surging after reports surfaced over the weekend that rival
will be closing its entire portfolio of stores. Shares of Blockbuster are soaring 11.4% to 42 cents, while
is increasing by 2% to $100.96.
The news and retail stock moves come ahead of April same-store sales reports, which will be out later this week.
One cautionary note: personal income inched up just 0.3%. As the surge in March spending was most likely fueled by savings, economists worry what will happen if income growth remains weak.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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