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Retail Shares Rise 0.6% on Wall Street

Gap runs countertrend and falls 6.7 percent after weak comps.

Wall Street continued to climb as Washington lawmakers tried to hammer out a deal to raise the debt ceiling and keep the country from potentially defaulting on its debt.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.6 percent, or 4.96 points, to 844.33, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.7 percent, or 111.04 points, to 15,237.11.

The gainers included Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., up 7.2 percent to $48.67, and The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., ahead 3.3 percent to $45.95. Men’s Wearhouse recently rejected a takeover offer from Jos. A. Bank at $48 a share. Also rising were The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., up 3 percent to $10.67; Signet Jewelers Ltd., 2.7 percent to $72.82, and Burlington Stores Inc., 2.7 percent to $26.68.

Running countertrend was Gap Inc., which said September comparable sales fell 3 percent and saw it stock drop 6.7 percent to $36.83.

Investors began to worry that lawmakers would not be able to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling by the Oct. 17 deadline, pushing markets down earlier this week. But tensions have eased as Republicans floated the possibility of a short-term extension of the debt ceiling that would give them more time to negotiate with President Obama.

In Europe, markets ended the day much on the same note they started it, with modest gains.

The FTSE 100 in London was up 0.9 percent to 6,487.19 as the DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.5 percent to 8,724.83. The FTSE MIB in Milan advanced 0.2 percent to 18,882.63 and the CAC 40 in Paris inched up 0.04 percent to 4,219.98.

The euro traded at $1.35 while the pound fetched $1.59 and the Swiss franc, $1.10.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the day’s biggest gainers including Burberry Group, up 1.3 percent to 16.05 pounds; and Compagnie Financière Richemont, 1.8 percent to 92.35 Swiss francs, and The Swatch Group, 1.8 percent to 102.20 Swiss francs.

Among the stocks that lost ground were Yoox.com, 1.8 percent to 24 euros; Mulberry Group, 2.3 percent to 10.12 pounds, and Metro AG, 1.5percent to 30.88 euros.