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Retail stocks climb on the heels of Black Friday

  • Retail stocks are rallying on upbeat sentiment around preliminary Black Friday sales results.
  • Shares of Macy's, J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart and Target, among others, were all climbing Monday morning.
  • Cyber Monday is expected to mark the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history.

In the wake of Thanksgiving weekend, what marks the start of the holiday shopping season, retail stocks are rallying on upbeat sentiment around preliminary sales results.

Shares of Macy's, J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart and Target, among others, were all climbing Monday morning.

Macy's stock was up about 1 percent, and Penney's shares were climbing nearly 2 percent. Big-box retailers Wal-Mart and Target's shares increased by less than 1 percent.

"We walked away from the start to the holiday shopping season more bullish than we had anticipated as it appears that roughly 65% of consumers made a purchase (online/store) this year with 15% incremental versus last year with a weighted average spend of $420," Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom wrote in a note to clients.

Apparel retailer Gap, which has already been called out by multiple analysts over the weekend for the strength of its Old Navy and Banana Republic Black Friday deals, saw its stock climb more than 3 percent Monday morning.

"GPS was a traffic winner this weekend, with strength at both Gap and Old Navy," Jefferies analyst Randal Konik wrote in a note to clients. Konik added that Gap remains one of his "top picks for the holiday."

Cyber Monday is now expected to mark the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, according to Adobe Insights, which measures 80 percent of digital transactions from 100 major retailers.

Online sales are expected to surpass $6.5 billion Monday, an increase of more than 16 percent when compared with last year, Adobe said.

Meantime, Amazon's sales continue to balloon, and GBH Insights has predicted the e-commerce giant rung up as much as 50 percent of all online purchases on Black Friday. Analyst Daniel Ives said Amazon had an "eye-popping" performance, even prior to Cyber Monday.

Amazon shares were climbing around 2 percent Monday morning.

Following a successful Black Friday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' net worth has now surpassed $100 billion. Bezos, the world's richest man, is followed on the list of wealthiest people by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

To be sure, many analysts still say there's one retailer neck and neck with Amazon, and it's based in Bentonville, Arkansas.

"Our survey results showed Wal-Mart (when combined with Jet.com) is not only a powerhouse among discount retailers, but in close competition with Amazon when measuring online traffic only," Grom said.

With Monday's gains, the S&P 500 Retail ETF (XRT) has lost roughly 6 percent in 2017.