Wider second-quarter losses at Saks Inc., the attendant sell-off in the company’s shares and weakness at other retailers just added to the market’s woes Tuesday. Continued troubles among financial firms, signs of renewed inflation pressures and an 11 percent drop in housing starts from June to July all conspired to push the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.1 percent, or 130.84 points, to 11,348.55, as the broader S&P 500 dipped 0.9 percent, or 11.91 points, to 1,266.69. The S&P Retail Index fell a steeper 2.7 percent, or 10.62 points, to 383.12 points.
The impact of one of the worst consumer economies in a generation is coming into sharper focus with second-quarter results, and it seems to have hit department stores particularly hard. Saks isn’t the only stock falling out of investors’ favor. Other decliners for the day included Macy’s, Dillard’s, Bon-Ton and J.C. Penney, which last week reported a 35.7 percent drop in second-quarter earnings as well as plans to adjust some of the product and pricing of its American Living brand made by Polo Ralph Lauren.
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