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Macy's, Gap, Dillard's Help Lift Struggling Retail Sector

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Shares of some of the world’s biggest retail companies—including Macy’s, Walmart, and Target—jumped on Tuesday, marking a rare day of positive trading for this struggling sector.

Indeed, the retail space was up nearly across the board on Tuesday. Shares of the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT - Free Report) were up 2.44%, while the Direxion Daily Retail Bull 3x Shares ETF (RETL - Free Report) skyrocketed 7.41%.

The Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY - Free Report) , VanEck Vectors Retail ETF (RTH - Free Report) , and PowerShares Dynamic Retail Portfolio ETF were all up marginally.

Tuesday’s retail ETF gains can be attributed to gains from some retail giants, most of which have seen their shares dip in the last year amid a shifting shopping climate.

Wal-Mart (WMT - Free Report) , Target (TGT - Free Report) , and Kohl’s KSS all jumped over 2% on Tuesday. Nordstrom (JWN) rose 2.96%, and Macy’s (M - Free Report) climbed 3.72%. The Gap (GPS - Free Report) , up 4.01%, was one of Tuesday’s biggest retail movers.

Also among the day’s top movers was Dillard’s (DDS - Free Report) , a department store chain which gained more than 7% on Tuesday after a report surfaced that suggested the stock appears to be heading for an “infinity squeeze” similar to Volkswagen’s now-legendary 2008 short squeeze (read more: Dillard's Stock Soars on Report of Imminent "Infinity Squeeze").

Still, despite today’s upward movement, talk of Amazon’s (AMZN - Free Report) apparent takeover of the entire retail world aren’t likely to stop just yet.

It is true that the industry has been shaken and most likely altered forever by Jeff Bezos’ behemoth. The online retail giant dove headfirst into almost every sector imaginable, and has transformed retail into a more on-demand style world, where everything from books to snacks can be delivered to users in a few hours.

But one retail player’s upward movement on Tuesday could be a sign of hope for the sector that many have all but written off. Barnes & Noble posted a monster day, up over 15%, on the back of news that activist investors are set to push for a sale.

At first glance that might seem like another sign that retail is struggling, but the firm is convinced that brick-and-mortar still has a place in the retail world. Barnes & Noble’s activist investors have faith that brick-and-mortar isn’t dead—it just needs to be revamped.

And today’s retail movement might signal that some share this glimmer of hope.

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