Retail Stocks Spike as Florida, NY Lift Remaining COVID Restrictions – Is Now a Good Time to Buy?

A couple shopping in an exclusive fashion clothing store, using their credit card to buy new clothes.
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More investors are looking for ways to buy into the economy after some states announced plans to relax restrictions or ditch COVID measures completely. CNBC reported that several stocks spiked on Monday after these announcements.

See: US Retail Sales Skyrocket to 9.8% in March, Thanks to Stimulus Checks, Vaccines
Find: What Do Retail Sales Mean for the Economy?

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order to revoke all COVID orders and health restrictions, CNBC reported. “The fact is, we are no longer in a state of emergency,” DeSantis said in a news conference. “I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do,” he said, after noting the drop in cases and deaths as more Americans are vaccinated. This bill also bans vaccine passports.

The Republican party in Florida has advocated for not imposing regulations on businesses and aimed to block pandemic restrictions as vaccines become more available, according to Forbes.

Florida Politics reported that Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives, Broward Rep. Evan Jenne and Tampa Rep. Fentrice Driskell, mentioned the lift of restrictions in Florida in a press conference Monday. “I think to lift everything, and simply say that’s it’s over, that’s not true,” Jenne said. “I think that was a move in the wrong direction,” Driskell said.

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Florida is not the only state relaxing its restrictions. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are lifting capacity restrictions beginning May 19. “The tide is turning against COVID-19 in New York,” Governor Cuomo stated. “Thanks to the hard work of New Yorkers and our partners in government, we are now able to increase capacity limits for businesses, event venues and residences to reflect what we’re seeing in the COVID data,” he said.

Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink released a Sunday note to clients indicating that apparel spending may benefit from increased demand and new fashion trends coming out of the health crisis, according to CNBC. Citing data from NPD Group, Wissink said that 47.5% of consumers in the U.S. are planning to purchase apparel in the next 60 to 90 days.

The S&P Retail ETF closed up more than 2% Monday, reported CNBC. Dillard’s closed up 9.7%, GAP reached a 52-week high at $37 per share but stabilized at $35.47 at the end of the day. Macy’s closed up 8% and American Eagle and Khol’s were up 5%. Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters both closed up 6%.

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About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
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