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U.S. Retail Stocks Decline

Electronics and home improvement chains weigh down market.

U.S. retail stocks weighed on the market today, but most of the downward pressure came from companies outside the apparel industry including Best Buy Co. Inc. and Lowe’s Cos. Inc.

The S&P Retail Index was down 0.9 percent, or 5.56 points to 638.93 in the final minutes of trading, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off just 3.64 points to 13,271.56.

Shares of Best Buy fell 10.3 percent to $18.19 after the company named a new chief executive officer — Hubert Joly, a media, technology and service sector turnaround specialist who led the restructuring of Vivendi’s video game business. The retailer also said Sunday that founder, shareholder and suitor Richard Schultz declined an opportunity to conduct due diligence related to his effort to take over the ailing electronics chain. Lowe’s declined 6.1 percent to $26.27 after the company’s quarterly earnings disappointed Wall Street.

In fashion, the decliners included Bebe Stores Inc., down 9.4 percent to $5.68 after president Emilia Fabricant resigned Friday; Tumi Holdings Inc., 5 percent to $21.58; Sears Holdings Corp., 3.7 percent to $57.30; Lululemon Athletica Inc., 2.8 percent to $61.44, and Coach Inc., 2.5 percent to $56.05.

Investors in Europe were initially buoyed by reports over the weekend suggesting the European Central Bank was planning to cap Spain and Italy’s borrowing costs by buying those countries’ bonds.

However, the central bank and Germany’s Bundesbank later distanced themselves from those rumors. The Bundesbank said it “remains of the opinion that…government bond purchases by the Eurosystem should be viewed critically and entail…substantial stability policy risks.”

Milan’s FTSE MIB finished down 1 percent to 14,971.88, while London’s FTSE 100 dipped 0.5 percent to 5,824.37, Paris’ CAC 40 fell 0.2 percent to 3,480.58 and Frankfurt’s DAX closed down 0.1 percent to 7,033.68.

Among those losing ground were Marcolin, down 1.8 percent to 4.28 euros; Hermès, 1.2 percent to 222 euros, and Inditex, 1 percent to 86.21 euros. The euro traded at $1.23.