The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 40 points, or 0.4 percent, on Wednesday, but retail stocks were unable to keep pace. The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index dropped 0.5 percent to 367.48 on the day before retailers are to report same-store sales results for July. The Talbots, Chico’s FAS and Charming Shoppes were down 3.9, 2 and 1.4 percent on the day, respectively, while another missy retailer, Christopher & Banks, managed a 1.8 percent increase. Among teen retailers, Zumiez, down 2.7 percent in Tuesday’s session, bounced back with a 6.7 percent increase prior to its disclosure that July same-store sales fell 1.4 percent, more than had been expected. Hot Topic, which also reported same-store sales early, dropped 3.9 percent before it said that July sales were down 2.1 percent on a comparable-store basis, but said it expected a smaller second-quarter loss than originally projected. Among European issues, two of the strongest performances came from Tod’s, whose shares advanced 3.8 percent, and PPR, up 3.1 percent.

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