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Wall Street Rewards Firms Showing Strength, Recovery

Both the Avon Lady and Michael Kors made big impressions on Wall Street this morning.

Both the Avon Lady and Michael Kors made big impressions on Wall Street this morning.

Shares of Avon Products Inc. shot up 20.1 percent to $20.76 after the company’s fourth-quarter adjusted profits of 37 cents a share came in 10 cents ahead of the 27 cents analysts projected. On a net basis, the direct merchant posted wider losses. The company also said it was exploring strategic alternatives for its Silpada jewelry business.

And shares of Michael Kors Holding Ltd. gained  11 percent to $63.24, having peaked at $64.80 earlier — a new high for the company, which went public in December 2011 at $25 a share.

Kors’ net profits shot up to $130 million
, or 64 cents a diluted share, for its fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 29. That marked a four-fold increase over a year earlier.

Other fashion companies making headlines also took big steps forward in the market.

Fossil Inc. posted double-digit profit and sales gains in the fourth quarter and said it signed a global licensing agreement with Tory Burch. Shares of the watch company gained 5.1 percent to $112.95.

And retailer New York & Company Inc. tweaked its fourth-quarter guidance, noting that its operating income would rise a range of $9 million to $10 million, or $5 million to $6 million on an adjusted basis. Previously, the company projected unadjusted operating income of $2 million to $6 million. Shares of the 519-door chain jumped 9.8 percent to $4.39.

 “Our preliminary fourth quarter results point to a solid quarter for our Company driven by a positive response to our holiday assortments and marketing strategies,” said Gregory Scott, chief executive officer.
The four companies all stood out in an otherwise sedate market.

In early afternoon trading, the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group was up 0.2 percent, or 1.65 points, to 702.09 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading slightly above 14,000, having risen  48.35 points.