Retail stocks bore the brunt of the burden Wednesday as both retail sales and oil supplies came in below expectations. The news sent all major indices down, but none more than the Standard & Poor’s Retail Index, which ended the day with a 2.4 percent decline to 385.06, more than twice the drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which was off 0.9 percent to 11,532.96. By far the biggest percentage fall on the New York Stock Exchange came from Tween Brands Inc., which late Tuesday reported a far-larger-than-expected loss for its second quarter and a plan to convert its Limited Too stores to the younger, more moderately priced Justice nameplate. Shares were off
46.2 percent to $8.01, or $4.59 below their previous 52-week low. While Macy’s Inc. shares managed a 1.9 percent increase, to $20.66, despite the department store group’s lower second-quarter profits, investors took a dimmer view of Liz Claiborne Inc.’s loss for the period, sending shares down 11.6 percent to $13.18. A double-digit decline was also registered by Christopher & Banks Corp. (off 11.7 percent to $9.10) after J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “overweight.” European issues were generally lower Wednesday as well, with Marks and Spencer Group plc declining 10.1 percent to 266.25 pence, or $5.07 at current exchange, in London trading.
Editor’s note: European stocks are quoted in the currency of their principal exchanges. Shares on the London Stock Exchange are quote in pence, Richemont and The Swatch Group are quoted in Swiss francs and Hennes & Mauritz is quoted in Swedish kronor. All other European stocks are in euros.
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