Samuel J. Mitchell Jr., chief executive officer of Valvoline Inc., center, celebrates the initial public offering (IPO) of Valvoline Inc. with a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Retail Stocks Jump Most in 9 Years on Strong Spending Signs

(Bloomberg) -- Retail stocks rebounded on Wednesday amid signs of strong consumer spending during the holiday season, sending a key benchmark up the most since the bull market in equities began more than nine years ago.

The S&P 500 Retailing Index climbed 7.4 percent and closed at the session high with all 27 members advancing. The rally was the biggest since March 10, 2009, the day after the S&P 500 bottomed in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Wednesday’s surge came after Amazon.com Inc. posted record holiday spending and Mastercard said department stores’ online sales were up more than 10 percent from last year.

Retail Stocks Jump Most in 9 Years on Strong Spending Signs

Amazon surged 9.5 percent. Other advancers included Kohl’s Corp., which gained 10 percent, and Dollar General Corp., which rose 7.2 percent. The broader S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary Index rose 6.3 percent, the best performing among 11 main groups in the wider benchmark index, which had its best day since March 23, 2009.

The worst month for U.S. stocks in almost a decade had raised concerns about consumer spending during the most important season of the year for retailers. Discretionary stocks are now outperforming the broader S&P 500 for the month of December.

Casino stocks, which have fallen in recent weeks along with retailers, also joined in Wednesday’s rebound. Wynn Resorts Ltd gained 7.9 percent, its best day in nearly a month. Red Rock Resorts Inc. rose 7.1 percent.

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