The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both ended Friday with new records as a series of surprising earnings beats in the retail sector carried the back-half of the week.
The S&P 500 added 1.43% over the past five days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.32%, and the Nasdaq rose 2.08%.
A number of retailers reported positive performances over the recent quarter, a U-turn from a series of negative reports in preceding weeks. But some of the industry's major players including Macy's (M) , Kohl's (KSS) , J.C. Penney (JCP) , and Nordstrom (JWN) reported disappointing quarters.
Higher membership fees propelled Costco (COST) profits, while same-store sales exceeded estimates. GameStop (GME) reported a better-than-expected quarter with store sales growth largely tied to the launch of a new portable gaming console, the Nintendo Switch. Sears (SHLD) reported its first GAAP profit since its second quarter of last year, while Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) exceeded sales estimates.
Best Buy (BBY) was one of the sector's best performers after the electronics retailer posted unexpected growth in same-store sales over its recent quarter. CEO Hubert Joly said the positive performance was tied to "strong performance in gaming, a better-than-expected result in mobile, and the improvement of overall sales trends due to the arrival of delayed federal tax refund checks."