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Amazon and other retail stocks typically beat the market during Black Friday week

Key Points
  • Consumer discretionary stocks rose 1 percent, on average, and traded positively 71 percent of the time during Black Friday week, according to CNBC analysis using Kensho.
  • Amazon and Best Buy were the big stock winners during the shortened trading week, history shows.
  • But the stocks tended to underperform the market in the time after Black Friday leading up to Christmas.

The shortened Thanksgiving trading week culminating in the big Black Friday shopping day is typically a good one for consumer stocks and certain retail names in particular, history shows.

The consumer discretionary sector of the S&P 500 rose 1 percent, on average, and traded positively 71 percent of the time during the week of Thanksgiving, according to CNBC analysis of the last 30 years using Kensho. That was the best of any sector in the benchmark except for communications and double the average return of the overall market.

That slice of the market can be invested in directly through the Consumer Discretionary SPDR (XLY). The U.S. stock market is closed Thursday and has an early close Friday.

The top retailers to trade during the week were Amazon and Best Buy, according to the Kensho data.

That wasn't the trend so far as Amazon shares fell 2 percent on Monday as investors continued to punish "FANG" names. But perhaps some of the retail optimism could stabilize the stock.

Tough trade till Christmas

History shows the trade gets tougher after this week, when sales data start to trickle out and winners and losers from the holiday season start to be determined.

Consumer stocks tend to underperform the market in the month after Black Friday.

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