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U.S. Retail Stocks Down 0.5%

Kohl’s, Tiffany lead sector lower on up day for Wall Street.

Kohl’s Corp. and Tiffany & Co. led retail stocks lower today even as the overall market gained ground.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 0.5 percent, or 3.09 points, to 672.44. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.3 percent, or 36.71 points, to 13,021.82.

Shares of Kohl’s declined 12 percent to $45.02, after the company said comparable-store sales fell 5.6 percent this month. Tiffany’s stock dropped 6.2 percent to $59.80 on a 29.6 percent decline third-quarter results and a reduced outlook for the year.

Despite worries about the fiscal cliff — a potentially dangerous combination of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts at the end of this year — there was some good news on the economic front. The Commerce Department’s update of third-quarter gross domestic product showed an annual increase of 2.7 percent, well ahead of the 2 percent seen in an earlier estimate. The increase in GDP was driven in part by a rise in personal consumption.

Markets were also gaining ground in Europe, where investors pushed Milan’s FTSE MIB up 2.8 percent to 15,887.99, as Paris’ CAC 40 gained 1.5 percent to 3,568.88. The FTSE 100 in London rose 1.2 percent to 5,870.30, while the DAX in Frankfurt climbed 0.8 percent to 7,400.96.

Retail and luxury stocks were up with the markets. The gainers included Hugo Boss, up 2.1 percent to 81.24 euros; Carrefour, 2.4 percent to 19.25 euros; French Connection, 5.6 percent to 0.29 pounds; Geox, 5.6 percent to 2.15 euros, and Tod’s, 2.6 percent to 93.35 euros.

The euro traded at $1.29 versus the dollar while the pound traded at $1.60.