Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies fell after a mixed start to the holiday-shopping season.
Foot traffic to U.S. stores fell about 6.2% on Black Friday, as more people ordered online or went to stores on Thanksgiving Day, when visits increased 2.3%, according to ShopperTrak. Shares of some retailers, including Target, gave back some of their recent gains.
One brokerage said "store checks" over the weekend suggested slower year-over-year sales growth is likely in November. That may be because "1) the start of Black Friday promotions online the Monday before Thanksgiving likely pulled forward demand to digital; and 2) a number of specialty retailers cycled record...sales from Thanksgiving weekend 2018," said analysts at brokerage Morgan Stanley, in a note to clients.
The shift of Thanksgiving Day to the fourth week of November from the third week last year caused a 28% drop in sales for the first three weeks of the month, the brokerage found. A similar calendar quirk in 2013 did not cause as drastic a drop in sales growth early in the month, according to the Morgan Stanley analysts.
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