A near empty parking lot in front of a Best Buy store in Montebello, California on April 15, 2020 as the electronics nationwide chain store remains closed to customers but open for pickups.
Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images
Investors have closely watched retailers who sell home improvement supplies, exercise equipment and technology for remote learning benefit from stay-at-home trends during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, they’re weighing whether sales momentum will fade as soon as Americans get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Third quarter earnings of big-box retailers like Target and Best Buy have surged past Wall Street’s expectations in the past two weeks. Best Buy’s online revenue in the U.S. jumped by 174% year over year. Dick’s Sporting Goods had record quarterly same-store sales growth of more than 23%. And Home Depot‘s average customer purchase rose to $72.98 — 10% higher than the same time last year.
Instead of cheering, however, some investors are asking tough questions and selling stock. Best Buy’s shares were down nearly 6% and Dick’s shares fell more than 2% on Tuesday, despite their strong third-quarter performances.
Some have also made bets on companies hard hit by the pandemic, expecting a return to more typical spending habits, from going to the movies to buying new clothes. Movie theater chain AMC Entertainment was up more than 14% on Tuesday. Macy’s and Gap shares have also risen in recent days.
Many of the strong performing retailers such as Target and Best…