By and  on October 29, 2013

Retail stocks shot up to another all-time high today — and are up 37 percent for the year so far — despite a very negative read on consumer confidence.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 1.2 percent, or 10.47 points, to 894.77 as the S&P 500 increased 0.6 percent, or 9.84 points, to 1,771.95, record closes for both indices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent, or 111.42 points, to 15,680.35.

Leading the gainers in the fashion sector were Quiksilver Inc., up 11.9 percent to $8.28 after the company revealed a price tag of $51.5 million for its deal to sell Mervin Manufacturing Inc., and Sears Holdings Corp., which said it might separate its Lands’ End and Sears Auto Center divisions from its main business, gained 11.8 percent to $62.09.

Despite the good feelings in the market, shoppers are feeling worse.

The government shutdown and debt ceiling debate took a big toll on October consumer sentiment, which fell to 71.2 from 80.2 last month, according to The Conference Boards Consumer Confidence Index.

Sentiment is now at the lowest level since April and came in significantly weaker than the reading of 75 economists projected.

In Europe, markets were also making gains and the FTSE MIB in Milan led the way, jumping 2.3 percent to 19,256.90. The FTSE 100 in London was up 0.7 percent to 6,774.73, while the CAC 40 in Paris advanced 0.6 percent to 4,278.09, and the DAX in Frankfurt increased 0.5 percent to 9,022.04.

The euro traded at $1.38, while the pound fetched $1.62 and the Swiss franc went for $1.12. Retail and luxury stocks put on a mixed show, with the day’s biggest gainers including Asos.com, up 4.9 percent to 55.16 pounds and,Yoox.com, 3.3 percent to 25.05 euros.

Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Mulberry Group, down 2.5 percent to 10.11 pounds; The Swatch Group, 1.2 percent to 99.60 Swiss francs, and Compagnie Financière Richemont, 1.4 percent to 92.70 Swiss francs.

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