Stocks were mixed on Monday, as major market indexes attempted to rebound from last week's losses amid U.S. trade policy concerns. When the closing bell rang, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) ended modestly lower, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) managed a small gain.
Today's stock market
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DATA SOURCE: YAHOO! FINANCE.
Retail stocks were among today's biggest gainers, with the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEMKT: XRT) up 1.1%. And industrials weren't far behind, with the Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEMKT: XLI) gaining 0.5%.
As for individual stocks, surprising online sales data left Nike (NYSE: NKE) climbing today, while an incoming natural disaster left investors scrambling to pick up shares of Home Depot (NYSE: HD).
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Home Depot's hurricane tailwinds
Shares of Home Depot climbed 2.2% today amid positive analyst commentary and as the East Coast braced for the arrival of the first major hurricane of the season.
On the former, Telsey Advisory Group analyst Joseph Feldman this morning reaffirmed his outperform rating on Home Depot, calling it a "best-in-class operator" in the fundamentally strong home-improvement industry. Feldman also raised his per-share price target to $226 from $217.
On the latter, with winds exceeding 115 miles per hour, Category 4 Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall in North Carolina and South Carolina on Thursday, followed by days of heavy rain that could cause major flooding in several states. Of course, home-improvement chains like Home Depot stand reluctant beneficiaries as residents not only buy items like generators and plywood to prepare for the storm season, but also pick up building supplies and equipment to help recover from the aftermath.
Nike's bold campaign is paying off
Shares of Nike also rose 2.2% today after encouraging data showed the athletic footwear and apparel giant's online sales surged in the wake of its new "Just Do It" ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick raised the ire of many NFL fans in 2016 by refusing to stand during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.
More specifically, according to California-based research firm Edison Trends, Nike's e-commerce sales soared 31% year over year from the Sunday of Labor Day weekend through Tuesday, marking a significant acceleration from the 17% growth it achieved in the same period last year.
"There's speculation that the Nike/Kaepernick campaign would lead to a drop in sales," explained Edison Trends co-founder Hetal Pandya, "but our data over the last week does not support that theory."
For perspective, today's gain all but reversed the roughly equivalent drop Nike endured when many consumers called for a boycott of the brand after it endorsed the controversial quarterback last week. Nike stock is up nearly 30% so far in 2018.
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Steve Symington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has the following options: short February 2019 $185 calls on Home Depot and long January 2020 $110 calls on Home Depot. The Motley Fool recommends Home Depot and Nike. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.