While there wasn't any direct news driving shares of Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS) 5% higher as of 2:40 p.m. EST, such as a strong quarterly report, the share price was benefiting from an overall lift in brick-and-mortar retailer sentiment following Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Much of the optimism fueling retailers such as Gap, and many of its competitors, was from analysts reporting that traffic was better than expected. According to analysts at Wells Fargo, traffic declines on Black Friday were the smallest since 2013, and fewer items were marked down significantly, to boot. Obviously, investors would love to see traffic gains, but at a time when e-commerce is thriving, smaller declines in foot traffic are enough to create optimism with struggling brick-and-mortar retailers. Some went as far as to call Gap the "weekend winner."
"Traffic and conversion appeared solid on Black Friday, despite sales continuing to be dispersed throughout the entire weekend and an ongoing migration of Black Friday shopping online," wrote Jefferies analyst Randal Konik, according to CNBC. "Old Navy and Gap both offered a 50 percent off storewide sale, essentially flat to last year, which seemed successful in driving traffic and conversion."
Investors are clearly optimistic and jumping on board Gap prior to the upcoming holidays. For good reason, too, as gas prices remain low, employment is strong, and consumer confidence is testing highs not seen since 2000. Reports of solid Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales were all investors needed to scoop up shares of some brick-and-mortar retailers this week, including Gap and its 5% jump Wednesday.