"Wall Street is ready for a great holiday season," Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx, said in a statement. "Our respondents are overwhelmingly calling for growth in Black Friday sales, and they believe in the continued importance of these numbers as a window into retail and the wider economy."
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Fully 49 percent of respondents said spending will be up in the 2 percent to 6 percent range, with 32 percent saying 2 percent to 4 percent and 17 percent predicting 4 percent to 6 percent. The forecast is about in line with the National Retail Federation, which is predicting a 4.1 percent gain.
Asked how much they will spend on their spouses or significant others, the answers coalesced around $900, (though one generous hotshot on the Street projected spending $250,000). In relative terms, that's a pretty nice sum, especially considering Main Street spending remains conservative.
The average total spending for Christmas shoppers this year is $720, a shade higher than 2013's $704, according to a recent Gallup survey. Only 25 percent plan on spending more than $1,000, while 19 percent are budgeting just $100 to $249. Overall, the results would track to a spending increase in the 3 percent range, Gallup said.
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Wall Streeters believe Black Friday is an important gauge both of holiday spending and the state of the economy.
About 51 percent said sales for the day are either a strong or very strong economic gauge, while 74 percent fell into the same two categories on whether it's an important retail indicator.
"This is a survey of big numbers for both Main Street and Wall Street," Colas said. "When you combine significant year-on-year growth for retail, spurred by electronics and e-commerce, and big presents for loved ones at home, you're describing a very happy holiday both personally and professionally."