Retail stocks just had their best month in years, but some aren’t buying it

Retail stocks are suddenly showing signs of life.

A popular retail-stock tracking exchange-traded fund, the XRT, just posted its best month since October 2011. Despite its 11 percent rise in November, some market strategists still aren't keen on the group.

"I'm not quite a retail believer yet. If you look at the short term, yes, we just saw a tremendous Cyber Monday and great Black Friday numbers. So that gives a lot of people reason for optimism," Gina Sanchez, CEO of Chantico Global, said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

But the recent rally is on weak footing, Sanchez believes. Retail growth has been above trend, she said, and "it's been fueled by consumers dipping into their savings. We have seen the savings rate dropping in order to fund continued spending, and that is always an unsustainable deal."

Some of the names on a technical basis look promising to Todd Gordon, founder of TradingAnalysis.com. He favors shares of Ross Stores, and calls the broader XRT a "quiet way" of playing some signs of a retail recovery. Furthering his optimistic call is the oversold nature of some of the XRT's components like Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters and L Brands.

"These are very oversold stocks that are starting to come back. So if you're looking for a value play, I think the XRT is the way to do it in a nonvolatile way. But it's got to prove it through the $46 level," he said.

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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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