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Retail ETF Gains After August Sales Spring a Surprise

By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com – The S&P Retail ETF (NYSE:XRT) rose 1.3% Thursday after data for August showed a surprise gain in retail sales despite a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Sales rose 0.7% for the month when an Investing.com poll estimated they would fall 0.8% due to the surge in Covid-19 cases. Consumers thus didn’t hold back their spending when they were supposed to.

The resurgence in Covid cases did reflect at restaurants and bars where sales were flat though still nearly 32% higher than from the year-ago levels.

Online sales rose 5.3% as more people went back to online shopping to protect themselves from the virus.

The retailer-focused ETF, the largest in its category, has total assets of $1.1 billion and carries a 12-month yield of 0.69%, according to Morningstar.

The sentiment was subdued by the latest jobs data. According to Labor Department, weekly jobless claims increased to 332,000 for the week ended September 11. They were expected to rise by 20,000 but were higher by 22,000.

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