U.S. stock market is thinking about Christmas today

11/11/2011 12:53 pm EST


Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

It’s consumer discretionary stocks leading the U.S. market today. (Consumer discretionary spending is spending that consumers don’t have to do, but that they want to do when they have the dough.)

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index is up 2.06% as of noon New York time today. The S&P consumer discretionary index, on the other hand, as tracked by the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY) is up 2.45%.

Not surprising since we’ve got a prefect storm of good news from the consumer sector today:

  1. Walt Disney (DIS) beat Wall Street earnings estimates by 6 cents a share when it reported after the market close last night. Revenue came in at $10.43 billion for the quarter, above the $10.35 billion projected by analysts. Revenue at the parks and resorts unit grew by 11%. The shares are up 6.8$ today.

  2. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index rose to 64.2 in November from 60.9 in October. Economists had expected an increase to 61.3. This is the strongest reading for the index since June.

  3. Based on early reads from companies such as UPS (UPS), retail sales during the holiday shopping season that begins on the Friday after Thanksgiving look like they’re headed toward the high end of projections for 2% to 6% year to year growth.

Stocks doing especially well today include (besides Walt Disney) Amazon.com (AMZN), Coach (COH), Deckers Outdoor (DECK), Ralph Lauren (RL) and VF (VF).

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