It was another day of mixed trading as the global markets ended Monday’s trading sessions.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo ended its trading session essentially flat at 9,533.75, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rose 0.4 percent to 22,276.72.
In the West, the European markets slid in midmorning trading after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti decided to resign early. That caused renewed uncertainty in the euro zone. At the end of the trading sessions, most of the major European market indices — with the exception of the FTSE MIB in Milan — made slight gains.
While the Italian index showed a decline of 2.2 percent to 15,354.01, the FTSE 100 in London was up 0.1 percent to 5,921.63 and the CAC 40 in Paris and the DAX in Frankfurt were both up 0.2 percent to 3,612.10 and 7,530.92, respectively.
Retail and luxury stocks showed mixed results. The day’s biggest gainers included Hennes & Mauritz, up 1.4 percent to 217.10 Swedish krona; Compagnie Financière Richemont, 1.2 percent to 73.70 Swiss francs, and Burberry, up 0.8 percent to 13.16 pounds.
Stocks losing ground included Safilo, down 2.1 percent to 69.50 euros; Unilever, 1.3 percent to 29.51 euros; and Hermès, which dipped 0.2 percent to 235.50 euros.
Elsewhere, Greece extended a debt buyback invitation that forms part of its international bailout for a day and a half as it tries to get more offers from bondholders, and the European Union received the Nobel Peace Prize, recognized for its decades of stability and democracy after the two world wars.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average was also essentially flat at 13,169.88, while the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 0.4 percent to 538.93.
Among the retailers, Francesca’s Holdings Corp. fell 5.4 percent to $22.54, while Buckle Inc. lost 5 percent to $42.10.
Separately, joining the ranks of firms declaring special dividends or accelerating dividends already planned in advance of the so-called “fiscal cliff” and anticipated tax increases for capital gains and dividends, Limited Brands Inc. said Monday it would pay a special $3-a-share dividend on Dec. 26 to stockholders of record Dec. 20. With about 294.4 million shares outstanding at the end of its third quarter, the payout would come to about $883.2 million.
Among other firms in the fashion space issuing special dividends have been Perry Ellis International Inc. and The Cato Corp., both of which plan to gift shareholders with $1 in cash for each share held.