Consumer Companies Flat After Strong Start to Holiday Sales -- Consumer Roundup

Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies were flat after a strong opening to the holiday shopping season.

While the number of people visiting U.S. stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday fell 4% from last year, according to research firm RetailNext, online sales likely increased 18% over that period, said software company Adobe Systems. "Black Friday [was] likely a high point of the Holiday season: Overall, our store checks suggest November ended on a strong note for retailers following positive commentary during earnings calls throughout the month," said analysts at brokerage Morgan Stanley, in a research note. "November overall likely benefited from lapping the election last year where uncertainty around the event and subsequently the results may have driven consumers to pull back on spending in the first 3 weeks of the fourth quarter."

The outlook for spending in the coming months is also positive, according to the brokerage. "A tight labor market and rising productivity lift wages further. Moreover, additional increases in wealth, as well as the anticipation of higher income via tax policy, keep spending above trend through the second quarter," said analysts at brokerage Morgan Stanley, in a separate research note.

Rob Curran,

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 27, 2017 17:44 ET (22:44 GMT)