What happened

Stitch Fix (SFIX -4.64%) shareholders beat a soaring market in November as the stock rose 18% compared to the 11% increase in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

That rally added to significant year-to-date gains for this volatile stock, which is up over 50% now after having been cut in half by early April.

A young woman opens a box full of clothing.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Positive COVID-19 vaccine developments helped investors gain confidence in an economic growth rebound potentially taking hold in 2021. Stitch Fix had been among the hardest-hit growth stocks when the pandemic struck, so much of November's surge can be tied to that shifting sentiment.

But investors are also betting that the online apparel seller will have good news to report in its upcoming earnings announcement.

Now what

Set for Dec. 7, that earnings report is likely to show steady sales growth and continued market share gains. CEO Katrina Lake and her team in late September outlined several short-term challenges on the horizon, including a shrinking apparel market and quickly changing fashion demands during social distancing efforts.

Stitch Fix will update shareholders on those issues, while commenting on the 2021 outlook, when it announces operating results in just a few days.