By and and  on April 14, 2009

Retail shares fell 2.5 percent Tuesday as an unexpected drop in March retail sales undermined hopes the recession might be near or even past its low point.

Sales at specialty stores last month decreased a seasonally adjusted 1.8 percent versus February, while department store sales fell 0.3 percent, the Commerce Department reported. Compared with a year earlier, specialty store sales declined 5.1 percent to $17.9 billion and department store sales dropped 5.5 percent to $16.1 billion.

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