Retail Stocks, Dow Rise After Employment Gains

Retail shares increased 1.4 percent as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a new high.

A stronger-than-projected jobs report for October sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average up today and suggested the economy might be stronger than expected.

The Labor Department said 204,000 new jobs were created in October, compared with expectations of just 120,000. Despite the positive news on jobs creation, the unemployment rate inched up to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent. But the surprise in new jobs was enough to move the Dow up 1.1 percent to end the trading session at a record close of 15,761.78. The Dow hit its all-time high of 15,797.70 in intraday trading Thursday.

Also rising was the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group, which increased 1.4 percent to 888.38.

Among the top gainers were The Gap Inc., up 9.8 percent to $41.43; American Eagle Outfitters Inc., which rose 6.3 percent to $16.21, and Aéropostale Inc., which gained 6.1 percent to $8.75.

Shares of The Jones Group Inc. fell 11.2 percent to $13.50 after WWD reported that G-III Apparel Group was no longer looking to buy the company’s apparel business. G-III’s stock slipped 1.1 percent to $54.26.
In Europe, the major global indices put on a mixed show.

The FTSE 100 in London and the FTSE MIB in Milan were both on the upswing. The English market advanced 0.2 percent to 6,708.42 while the Italian one was up 0.5 percent to 18,961.71.

The CAC 40 in Paris dipped 0.5 percent to 4,260.44, while the DAX in Frankfurt was broadly flat, edging down 0.03 percent to 9,078.28.

Retail and luxury stocks were also mixed, with the day’s biggest gainers including Mulberry Group, up 4.7 percent to 10.62 pounds; French Connection, 5.6 percent to 0.40 pounds, and Luxottica Group, 1.7 percent to 39.50 euros.

Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Marks & Spencer Group, down 1.7 percent to 5 pounds; Asos.com, 4.7 percent to 56.68 pounds, and Gemfields, 1.8 percent to 0.34 pounds.

The pound traded at $1.60 against the U.S. dollar while the euro fetched $1.34.