Investors on Wall Street Friday ignored pending federal government budget cuts after lawmakers failed to reach a compromise, suggesting they had already priced in the sequester and figured it was better than a complete government shutdown.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3 percent to 14,089.66, while the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.7 percent to 709.82.
Shares of Stein Mart Inc. rose 3.3 percent to $8.79. Another top gainer was Destination XL Group Inc., formerly Casual Male Retail Group Inc., up 3.1 percent to $4.68, and Gap Inc., which rose 2.9 percent to $33.87.
Cache Inc. lost ground, down 5.1 percent to $4.08, while Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. slipped 2.9 percent to $40.31.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent to 11,606.38, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong declined 0.6 to 22,880.22.
In Europe, the markets closed predominantly down as measures of manufacturing in the U.K. and China retreated. The FTSE MIB fell the farthest, down 1.5 percent to 15,675.37, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, which dropped 0.6 percent to 3,699.91. The DAX in Frankfurt declined by 0.4 percent to 7,708.16 while the FTSE 100 in London, however, was up slightly, by 0.3 percent, to 6,378.60.
Retail and luxury stocks put on a mixed performance, with the day’s biggest gainers including Burberry, up 2.5 percent to 14.11 pounds; Luxottica, 1.7 percent to 36.18 euros; and Inditex, 1.6 percent to 104.30.
Stocks making losses included The Swatch Group, down 1.5 percent to 93.85 Swiss francs; Safilo, down 0.8 percent to 110.70 euros; and Mulberry, 0.5 percent to 12.45 pounds.