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Retail Stocks Rise, End Q2 Up 8.5%

Major indices decline but finish quarter with gains.

Retail stocks closed out the first half with increases Friday as the major indices declined amid continued uncertainty about the future of the federal stimulus.

The S&P 500 Retail Industry Group rose 2.15 points, or 0.3 percent, to 788.37, putting it up 8.5 percent for the second quarter and a robust 20.7 percent for the first half of the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 114.89 points, or 0.8 percent, to 14,909.60, leaving it down for the month while up 2.3 percent for the quarter and 13.8 percent so far this year. The S&P 500 was in similar territory, declining 6.92 points, or 0.4 percent, for the day, putting it up 2.4 percent for the quarter and 12.6 percent for the year.

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. was among the day’s strongest performers, jumping 8.7 percent to $3.62 after Wedbush Securities upgraded the stock to “outperform” from “neutral.” Another West Coast specialty retailer with a similar lifestyle message, Zumiez Inc., rose 2.9 percent to $28.75.

Nike Inc. shares were up 2.2 percent to $63.58 following Thursday’s after-market fourth-quarter earnings report, in which it exceeded analysts’ estimates and reported an 8 percent increase in future orders, including some improvement in China.

Among the firms ceding ground on Friday were three beauty companies — Inter Parfums Inc., Revlon Inc. and Elizabeth Arden Inc. — with respective declines of 2.8, 2.5 and 2.4 percent, ending the week at $28.52, $22.06 and $45.04. The Estee Lauder Cos. Inc. fared only somewhat better, surrendering 1.1 percent to close at $65.77.

Among fashion, beauty and retail equities, advancers and decliners were essentially evenly matched.