U.S. shoppers are gearing up for Black Friday (November 26), which kicks off the key holiday shopping period.
News has been mostly good for retailers in recent months as a vaccine-fueled U.S. reopening sent shoppers back into stores.
But global supply-chain bottlenecks are crimping inventories and pushing up prices.
Soaring inflation also has markets worried about consumers tightening their belts.
Inflation fears also persisted in markets after recent comments from Federal Reserve officials suggested that price pressures were becoming more broad-based.
But recent retail sales numbers made for happier reading, showing October sales surging as Americans started shopping early to beat supply shortages.
The S&P consumer discretionary sector hit a record high, following strong retail earnings this week and positive indicators for holiday spending.
(Production: Aleksandra Michalska)