U.S. Retail Stocks Gain Slightly

Market slips, investors eye political uncertainty in Italy.

U.S. retail stocks bucked the market today and rose slightly as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave ground and investors cast a wary eye to Europe.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group, gained 0.1 percent, or 0.92 points, to 726.24, as the Dow slipped 0.2 percent, or 33.49 points, to 14,526.16.

The fashion-sector gainers included Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., up 2.2 percent to $56.41; Amazon.com Inc., 1.9 percent to $265.30; Hanesbrands Inc., 1.6 percent to $44.82, and Ralph Lauren Corp., 1.3 percent to $169.71.

There were also many firms on the decline including American Apparel Inc., down 7.2 percent to $2.20; Movado Group Inc., 3.8 percent to $32.66, and Nike Inc., 1.7 percent to $58.45.

Global investors have grown wary of Europe, where the strings-attached bailout for Cyprus is impacting sentiment and has spurred worries about the stability of the euro zone currency bloc. Italy has also popped up on investors’ radar screens, with its political impasse and strained efforts to form a new government driving up borrowing costs.

Europe’s major stock markets all lost ground today with the DAX in Frankfurt down 1.2 percent to 7,789.09; the CAC 40 in Paris, 1 percent to 3,711.64; the FTSE MIB in Milan, 0.9 percent to 15,353.85, and the FTSE 100 in London, 0.2 percent to 14,530.04.

The euro traded at $1.29 against the dollar, while the pound fetched $1.52, and the Swiss franc $1.05.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the biggest decliners including Carrefour, down 2.6 percent to 20.86 euros; French Connection Group, 2.5 percent to 0.30 pounds; and Kering 1.5 percent to 169.80 euros.

Among the few gainers were Safilo Group, up 2 percent to 10.80 euros; the Swatch Group, 1.5 percent to 95.95 Swiss francs and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton 1.1 percent to 132.70 euros.