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U.S. retail shares joined the major American and European stock indices in recording declines today.
With stores still feeling the effects of a less than spectacular Thanksgiving weekend and nervous about the effects of the abbreviated holiday season calendar, the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group recorded its second straight day of declines, falling 0.8 percent to 919.45.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 pulled back more modestly, with the Dow down 0.6 percent, to 15,914.62, and the S&P off 0.3 percent, to 1,795.15, below the respective 16,000 and 1,800milestones achieved earlier.
Sears Holdings Corp. suffered the worst fate among WWD’s stock sample, with shares declining 7.7 percent to $55.55, while Zale Corp.contracted 3.9 percent to $13.76.
With advancers and decliners about evenly divided among U.S. fashion, retail and beauty stocks, the biggest gain came from Abercrombie & Fitch Co., up 5.8 percent to $35.99 following Engaged Capital’s push for the company to initiate a search for a new chief executive officer to succeed Mike Jeffries, whose current employment contract expires at the end of January. Ascena Retail Group Inc. was up 3.3 percent to $21.56 on the strength of its first-quarter performance, reported on Monday, and American Apparel Inc. rose 3.5 percent to $1.19.
Among European indices, the CAC 40 in Paris slid the furthest, falling 2.7 percent to 4,172.44, followed by the 2 percent drop, to 18,366.75, by the FTSE MIB in Milan. The DAX in Frankfurt was off 1.9 percent to 9,223.40 and the FTSE 100 in London surrendered 1 percent to 6532.43.
The euro traded at $1.36, while the pound fetched $1.64, and the Swiss franc $1.10.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the day’s biggest fallers including Salvatore Ferragamo and Safilo Group, which both fell 3.2 percent, to 28.61 euros and to 17.51 euros, respectively; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 2.8 percent to 134.45 euros, and Carrefour, 3.1 percent to 28.08 euros.
Among the few stocks that gained ground were Aeffe, 3.6 percent to 0.63 euros; Next Plc, 2.1 percent to 55.15 pounds, and Gemfields, 2.9 percent to 0.36 pounds.