The U.S. consumer is alive and well.

More than 174 million Americans went shopping between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), as compared to expectations for 164 million.

Most interesting, more shoppers went online than to brick and mortar stores.

In fact, in-store foot traffic was actually down 2% year over year.

U.S. retailers racked up $2.87 billion on Thanksgiving, and another $5.03 billion on Black Friday, according to Adobe Analytics.  Cyber Monday sales hit $6.59 billion – the largest online total for a shopping day in the U.S.

That’s part of the reason that shares of Amazon.com (AMZN) soared from $980 in October 2017 to more than $1,200 in November 2017.

According to Zero Hedge, “the e-commerce giant accounted for 45.1% and 54.9% of all transactions respectively on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Hitwise puts the actual numbers at 5.6 million and 7.1 million transactions.”

Brick and mortar retailers that boosted their online efforts have done well, even as store foot traffic fell 2% year over year. And their stock prices have moved upward.

  • Macy’s (M) ran from $17.50 to $22
  • Gap (GPS) shot from $25.50 to $31
  • Kohl’s (KSS) jumped from $41 to $46
  • C. Penney (JCP) soared from $2.50 to $3.50
  • Wal-Mart (WMT) ran from $90 to $97

In fact Rite Aid, which we recommended in the November issue at $1.55, skyrocketed 46% to $2.27.  That’s an amazing jump in less than a month.

The Cheap Investor offers a good way to take advantage of strong consumer spending in the December 2017 issue, which you can view here: