November Retail Sales a Bit Blue Despite Black Friday

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Despite ever-expanding sales and store hours, Black Friday hordes barely moved up November retail sales.

Monthly retail sales figures for November rose only 0.2%, the smallest gain in the holiday shopping month since 2008, but were up 6.7% from November 2010, according to data released Tuesday by the Department of Commerce. Economists expected a 0.6% increase, according to Thomson One Analytics.

The market largely shrugged off the disappointing data, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.8%, or 90.86 points, to 12,112.25 at 10:30 a.m. The S&P 500 gained 0.7% to 1,245.23, and the Nasdaq rose 16.73 points to 2,629.27.

The report was "not very encouraging," David Semmens, an economist at Standard Chartered Bank, wrote in an email. With little market reaction to the report, "perhaps market participants are comfortable that the consumer is saving their best for December," he said. "Although given the lack of good cheer the consumer is showing I'd hazard a guess they are waiting for the post-Christmas sales."

Despite the missed expectations, retail sales the day after Thanksgiving rose 6.6% to $11.40 billion, the most ever spent on the day.

Retailers such as Wal-Mart ( WMT), Toys "R" Us and Gap ( GPS) opened on Thanksgiving day to entice more shoppers, while online retailers such as Amazon ( AMZN) offered online deals beginning on Friday and continuing through the traditional Cyber Monday.

Purchases excluding automobiles jumped 0.2%, also falling short of expectations. Economists projected a 0.4% gain.

Electronic and appliance stores saw the biggest gains in October with a 2.1% increase. Non-store retailers, such as Amazon and QVC also led gains, rising 1.5% as consumers took advantage of online deals on Cyber Monday.

Best Buy ( BBY), the electronics retailer that opened at midnight after Thanksgiving, fell after reporting fiscal third-quarter earnings Tuesday of 47 cents a share on revenue of $12.10 billion, missing the average analyst estimate of a profit of 51 cents a share on revenue of $12.14 billion. Shares were dropping 11.2% to $24.91.

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Apparel retailer Urban Outfitters ( URBN) surged after it announced in a regulatory filing that same-store retail sales were up in the mid-single digits so far in the fourth quarter. The shares were jumping 7.6% to $28.46.

-- Written by Kaitlyn Kiernan

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/Kaitlyn_Kiernan.

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