Investors pushed stocks down Monday and retail shares lost more ground than most. Continued concerns about the health of the financial sector prompted major indices to give back some of the gains made last week, which ended with three consecutive days of rising stock prices. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 2.1 percent, or 241.81 points, to 11,386.25 as the S&P 500 was off a milder 2 percent, or 25.36 points, to 1,266.84. Shares in the S&P Retail Index, however, were on a steeper trajectory down and dropped 2.4 percent, or 9.46 points, to 388.18.
Talbots was among those taking the biggest hit — down 9.5 percent. The retailer, which will report its second-quarter financial results Wednesday, said earlier this month that its comparable-store sales for the period fell 12 percent. Among the specialty stores posting more modest declines for the day were Charlotte Russe, The Dress Barn, Gap and Pacific Sunwear. Hot Topic managed to buck the trend with an 8 percent rise. Investors also sold off shares of department stores and national chains Monday, including Dillard’s, Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Kohl’s. Vendors losing ground included Columbia Sportswear, Kenneth Cole, Nike, Phillips-Van Heusen and Polo Ralph Lauren.