Retail Shares Shed 1.8% in Big Sell-off

Dow off more than 300 points as fears about growth in China, other international markets spur declines.

Growing concerns about China’s growth trajectory and unstable world currencies combined to send the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 2 percent, with retail shares falling nearly as much.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group suffered its seventh consecutive negative session, and its 12th in 16 trading days this year, as it contracted 1.9 percent to 892.58.

On a percentage basis, that was just slightly less than the 318.24-point decline logged by the Dow, to 15,879.11, and the 2.1 percent, or 38.17-point, contraction hitting the S&P 500, which ended the week at 1,790.29.

In the course of a single day, the Dow, S&P and S&P Retail Index surrendered their recent milestone marks of 16,000, 1,800 and 900, respectively.

The Procter & Gamble Co. was one of only nine fashion, retail and beauty firms to post positive results among the 88 U.S.-based firms monitored by WWD. P&G shares rose 1.2 percent to $79.18 after the consumer goods giant reported second-quarter profits that were slightly better than those expected by Wall Street and reiterated its guidance for second-half profit improvement. Sears Holdings Corp. advanced 2.1 percent to $38.15.

Among those suffering large declines were The Bon-Ton Stores Corp., down 4.2 percent to $7.14; Aéropostale Inc., down 3.7 percent to $7.26; American Eagle Outfitters Inc., down 3.2 percent to $12.77, and Burlington Stores Inc., down 2.4 percent to $26.96.

Europe’s markets suffered a similar fate to close out the week, with the CAC 40 in Paris declining 2.8 percent to 4,161.47, Frankfurt’s DAX down 2.5 percent to 9,392.02 and the FTSE MIB in Milan off 2.3 percent to 19,358.99. The FTSE 100 in London fared best, dipping 1.6 percent to 6,663.74.

With Friday’s declines, the S&P retail index is off 5 percent for the year while the Dow and S&P 500 have pulled back 4.2 and 3.1 percent, respectively. In Europe, only the Milan exchange is up in 2014, advancing 2.1 percent, while the CAC 40 is off 3.1 percent, the DAX off 1.7 percent and the FTSE 100 off 1.3 percent.

European retail and luxury stocks, meanwhile, were mostly down, with the exception of Moncler, which advanced 1.5 percent to 13.50 euros, and Gemfields, 2.1 percent to 0.36 pounds.

Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Carrefour, 4.4 percent to 25.01 euros; French Connection Group, 4.1 percent to 35 pence; Metro AG, 5.6 percent to 32.42 euros; Unilever, 2.7 percent to 28.91 euros; and Yoox.com, 3.1 percent to 27.58 euros.

The euro traded at $1.36 against the U.S. Dollar while the pound fetched $1.66 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.10.