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Retail Stocks Dip 0.8% on Wall Street

The U.S. manufacturing sector, including apparel producers, take a big step back.

Retail stocks fell today on Wall Street  as weakness in the U.S. manufacturing sector outweighed signs of strength in China.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 0.8 percent, or 5.04 points, to 670.94. The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a somewhat sharper drop and fell below 13,000, slipping 0.5 percent, or 59.98 points, to 12,965.60.

The day’s decliners included True Religion Apparel Inc., down 6.5 percent to $24.39; Cache Inc., 5.7 percent to $2.31; J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 3.2 percent to $17.36; The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., 2.2 percent to $11.59, and Tumi Holdings Inc., 2 percent to $22.02.

The Institute for Supply Chain Management said its PMI, an index which gauges the strength of the U.S. manufacturing, fell to 49.5 in November from 51.7 in October. A reading below 50 indicates the sector is contracting and economists were expecting the index post a milder slide to 51.2.

Of the 11 industries contracting last month, apparel producers took the biggest step back, the institute said.
On the other hand, manufacturing activity in China perked up for the third straight month in November. It’s PMI rose to 50.6. Investors have worried over the country’s economy, which has cooled this year.

Markets were on the rise in Europe, but stalled after the U.S. manufacturing report was released.

Shares in the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.1 percent to 5,871.24, while the CAC 40 in Paris grew 0.3 percent to 3,566.59. The DAX in Frankfurt and the FTSE MIB in Milan both advanced 0.4 percent, to 7,435.21 and 15,876.06, respectively.

The day’s biggest gainers included French Connection, up 3.5 percent to 29 pence; LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton, 0.9 percent to 136.10 euros, and Tod’s, 0.8 percent to 94.45 euros.

Among the stocks losing ground were Inditex, down 1.6 percent to 103.70 euros; Hermès, 0.4 percent to 236.70, and Marks & Spencer, which slipped 0.2 percent to 38.97 pounds.

The euro traded at $1.30 versus the dollar while the pound was valued at $1.60.