By  on October 23, 2008

Fears about the international credit crisis yielded to anxiety about corporate earnings on Wednesday, pushing down retail shares sharply as stores entered the final phase of their fiscal third quarters.

Even after a rebound in the final minutes of the session, the Standard & Poor’s Retail Index shrank 15.54 points, or 5.6 percent, to 260.25. The percentage drop was the seventh highest since the refixing of the index in June 2002. All seven of these declines have come since the historic drop of Black Wednesday on Sept. 17, when the credit crisis arrived on Wall Street in earnest. At one point in the final hour of trading, the S&P Retail barometer was less than 4 points above its 52-week low of 248.77.

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