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WWD Stock Index Up 3.1%

NEW YORK — Matching a percentage advance by the S&P 500, the WWD Stock Index rose 3.1 percent in the week, closing at 1,117.24 from 1,083.63 a week ago.<BR><BR>Pleasing investors, who are already focused on what could be a decent holiday...

NEW YORK — Matching a percentage advance by the S&P 500, the WWD Stock Index rose 3.1 percent in the week, closing at 1,117.24 from 1,083.63 a week ago.

Pleasing investors, who are already focused on what could be a decent holiday season, several retail stocks posted big gains last week following better-than-expected quarterly earnings reports. In a new forecast released Friday on holiday spending, Archstone Consulting predicted a 3 to 5 percent increase in sales in November and December over last year, in line with several other projections.

“Consumers, much like markets, don’t like uncertainty, and regardless of who is elected, a large veil of uncertainty will be lifted, further fueling holiday sales,” said Michael Unger, a director at Stamford, Conn.-based Archstone Consulting, in a statement.

Among specific companies, shares of Coach Inc. rocketed 11.7 percent to $46.63 from $41.75 the week before. The company reported on Tuesday that profits jumped 60 percent on a 33.4 percent increase in revenues. It also outlined a significant store expansion strategy in the U.S. and in Japan.

Columbia Sportswear shares increased 10.6 percent to $60.36 last week from $54.56 the week earlier, after reporting Thursday that third-quarter net income rose 7.9 percent on a sales gain of 11.3 percent.

Meanwhile, shares of J.C. Penney & Co. took a hit after the company announced Wednesday that Myron E. Ullman 3rd will succeed Allen Questrom as chief executive officer on Dec. 1. The shares ended the week down 9.5 percent at $34.59 from $38.20 the week before.

— Meredith Derby