WWD.com/business-news/financial/european-stock-markets-gain-modestly-7315300/

U.S. retail stocks rose today as investors around the world pushed markets higher.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group increased 0.5 percent to 918.80 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 percent to 15,884.57.

Among the top gainers in the U.S. were Burlington Stores Inc., up 5.8 percent to $28.93, followed by Delia’s Inc., gaining 5.5 percent to $1. Bebe Stores Inc. rose 3.8 percent to $5.20.

The decliners included Sears Holdings Corp., falling 4.1 percent to $44.10, and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., down 2.5 percent to $3.17.

Investors are keeping a careful watch on the Federal Reserve to see when the central bank might start to wind down its program to buy $85 billion in bonds each month, helping to stimulate the economy. The first bond-buying binge to stimulate the economy occurred in 2008. In Europe, the markets also ended on an upbeat note, with the major indices making gains.

The FTSE MIB in Milan rose the most, increasing 2.3 percent to 18,222.42, while the DAX in Frankfurt rose 1.7 percent to 9,163.56. The CAC 40 in Paris was up 1.5 percent to 4,119.88 and the FTSE 100 in London gained 1.3 percent to 6,522.20.

Purchasing Managers’ Index figures for December, showing that Germany experienced its strongest manufacturing output growth since May 2011, were said to be among the factors boosting investor sentiment. The PMI index for Germany’s output stood at 57.5 in December, up from 54.9 in November, according to Markit, the firm that produces the index.

Those firms that rose included Hugo Boss, up 2.1 percent to 99.30 euros; Burberry, 1.7 percent to 14.70 pounds; Inditex, 2.1 percent to 113.25 euros, and Hennes & Mauritz, 1.7 percent to 283.10 Swedish krona.

The few fallers included Prada, down 3.9 percent to 67.30 Hong Kong dollars; Esprit, 1.8 percent to 15.40 Hong Kong dollars, and Mulberry, 4.4 percent to 9.50 pounds.

The pound traded at $1.63 against the U.S. dollar, while the euro went for $1.37, the Hong Kong dollar traded at 13 cents and the Swedish krona fetched 15 cents.