Retail Stocks Up Ahead of Election

Sector shines on quiet day for Wall Street.

U.S. retail stocks gained 0.6 percent today, surpassing the broader markets, which moved up slightly as investors pondered the outcome of Tuesday’s presidential election.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 3.98 points to 654.88, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased a lesser 0.2 percent, or 19.28 points, to 13,112.44.

Fashion’s strongest stocks included Aéropostale Inc., up 6.9 percent to $14.19; Movado Group Inc., 5.9 percent to $33.38; Express Inc., 4.6 percent to $11.73; Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 3.9 percent to $34.07; Tumi Holdings Inc., 3.6 percent to $22.50, and Nordstrom Inc., 2 percent to $57.62.

In Europe, investors were cautious ahead of the U.S. elections as well as key legislative votes in Greece. The Greek parliament is expected to vote on structural reforms Wednesday, with a further vote on Sunday on a 2013 austerity budget. The results of these votes will determine whether Greece will receive more financial aid from lenders.

The FTSE MIB in Milan was down 1.4 percent to 15,544.40, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, which dropped 1.3 percent to 3,448.50. The FTSE 100 in London fell 0.5 percent to 5,839.06 following news that HSBC posted a 52 percent drop in third quarter net income. Frankfurt’s DAX dipped by 0.5 percent to 7,326.47.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down.

The day’s biggest decliners included Asos.com, down 2.8 percent to 22.82 pounds; Inditex, 2.3 percent to 100 euros; PPR, 2 percent to 135.05 euros; and L’Oreal, 1.9 percent to 98.56 euros. Among the companies bucking the trend were Hermès International, up 1.7 percent to 222.70 euros; Unilever, 0.7 percent to 28.77, and Tod’s, which was also up, by 0.5 percent to 93.65 euros. The euro traded at $1.28 versus the dollar and the pound traded at $1.60.