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Why Costco Stock Rose 15% in November

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Updated Dec 1, 2017 at 11:58AM

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Sales growth appears to be speeding up as the holiday shopping season kicks off.

What happened

Costco (COST 1.35%) stock rose 15% last month, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, and the rally significantly outpaced the 2.8% gain in the broader market.

^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts.

The boost pushed the warehouse giant back into solidly positive territory for the year, with shares currently sitting just below the 18% increase logged by the S&P 500.

So what

October's bounce coincided with positive news from many of Costco's retailing peers. Wal-Mart announced in mid-November that its comparable-store sales had accelerated to a 2.7% pace from 1.8% in the prior quarter, for example. And Target during the same week revealed improving third-quarter customer traffic trends.

A customer browses the aisles at a warehouse retailer.

Image source: Getty Images.

Costco's own data confirmed strengthening demand in the retailing industry. On Nov. 29, the company reported an 8% comps increase for the prior four weeks, which included the Black Friday holiday weekend. Comps were up a more modest 6% in the prior month.

Now what

Together, these reports suggest that major retailers like Costco, who have a significant physical presence in addition to a robust digital selling infrastructure, could enjoy healthy growth over the holiday season. Investors will get details on how much profit each of those segments is generating when Costco posts its first-quarter results on December 14.

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