NEW YORK — Hot Topic men’s wear sales have fizzled heading into the all-important back-to-school season, prompting the specialty retailer to warn Wednesday that it will not meet its profit and sales targets for the second and third quarters.

Investors showed their low tolerance for unpleasant surprises by sending shares of HT down sharply, closing the day off $6.90, or 30.7 percent, at $15.55 in Nasdaq trading on volume that was more than 17 times the firm’s daily average. They also sold off shares in a number of teen specialty chains, contributing to a 0.8 percent drop in the Standard & Poor’s Retail Index, to 284.24, as both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 advanced 0.7 and 1 percent, respectively.

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