Retailers and Wall Street inched ahead today, holding on to the rally that followed the deal to avoid the fiscal cliff tax hikes.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.3 percent, or 2.01 points, to 667.19, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.3 percent, or 48.85 points, to 13,435.21. Retail stocks are up 2.3 percent for the year so far and the Dow is ahead 2.5 percent.
The retail index was buoyed today by J.C. Penney Co. Inc., up 2.5 percent to $20.62; Urban Outfitters Inc., 1.6 percent to $41.39, and Tiffany & Co., 1.5 percent to $61.18. Other fashion and beauty companies making strides were Quiksilver Inc., up 11.9 percent to $5.07; Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc., 4.9 percent to $13.45, and Avon Products Inc., 3.2 percent to $16.09.
Investors rejoiced this week as lawmakers in Washington reached a deal that averted middle class tax hikes that could have hurt consumer spending. The tax burden increased on wealthier Americans, though, and the issue of cuts to government programs still lingers.
A key report on the employment market in December showed that the country added 155,000 jobs, as expected.
European investors also ended the week on a cheery note.
FTSE 100 in London gained 0.7 percent to 6,089.02, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt and the FTSE MIB in Milan, which were both up 0.3 percent, to 7,776.37 and 16,959.78, respectively. The CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.2 percent to 3,730.02.
Retail and luxury stocks showed mixed results, with the day’s biggest growers including Safilo, up 5.2 percent to 7.35 euros; Mulberry, 2.4 percent to 12.60 pounds; Burberry, 2.3 percent to 12.90 pounds; and Hermès International, 1.2 percent to 230.95 euros.
Among the stocks losing ground were Marks & Spencer, down 3.1 percent to 37.64 pounds, while Inditex and Yoox both dipped 0.8 percent, to 106.60 euros and 11.93 euros, respectively.
The euro traded at $1.31 against the dollar, while the pound was worth $1.62.