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Aéropostale Rebounds as Retail Shares Gain

Julian Geiger returns to teen retailer’s board, shares rise 15 percent.

Shares of Aéropostale Inc. led a post-holiday rally for U.S. retail stocks today.

The teen retailer’s shares rose 51 cents, or 15 percent, to $3.92 after it closed on a $150 million credit facility with private equity firm Sycamore Partners and said that Julian Geiger, the retired chief executive officer of the company, and Stefan Kaluzny of Sycamore would be added to its roster of directors.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.6 percent to 871.82, on par with the S&P 500’s percentage increase to 1,911.91 and ahead of the 0.4 percent ascent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to 16,675.50. A number of analysts noted that the long weekend in the U.S. showed signs improved traffic at malls.

And while Aéropostale had the largest increase among the retail, fashion and beauty stocks tracked by WWD, about 30 of these issues enjoyed increases of 1 percent or more on the day. The Wet Seal Inc. and Destination XL Group Inc. were both up 6 percent, to $1.01 and $5.47, respectively.

Wet Seal’s run came in advance of its first-quarter financial results, released after the close of the markets, in which it matched analysts’ consensus estimates for adjusted loss of 18 cents a diluted share, exclusive of special items including the costs associated with its decision to close its Arden B units. Revenues missed estimates, but shares held steady in the first phase of after-hours trading.

Among companies with declines for the day were Zumiez Inc., down 3.2 percent to $27.88; American Apparel Inc., off 3 percent to 64 cents, and The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which retreated 2.6 percent to $11.12.

European markets advanced towards the end of the trading day, with major markets except the FTSE MIB in Milan finishing with advances.

The Milan exchange was down 0.4 percent to 21,403.55 while the DAX in Frankfurt led the upswing with a 0.5 percent gain to 9,940.82.  The FTSE 100 in London moved up 0.4 percent to 6,844.94, and the CAC 40 in Paris inched up 0.1 percent to 4,529.75.

Among the biggest gainers for the day were Boohoo.com, up 7.6 percent to 50 pence; Ted Baker, 3.9 percent to 19.05 pounds; Asos.com, 4.9 percent to 45.37 pounds, and Safilo Group, 1.6 percent to 16.67 euros.

Among the stocks that fell were Aeffe, down 1.7 percent to 1.19 euros; Geox, 1.2 percent to 2.92 euros; Ferragamo, 2 percent to 22.66 euros, and Koovs, 1.9 percent to 1.52 pounds.

The euro traded at $1.36 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound fetched $1.68, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.12.