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Retail Stocks Hit New High

Retail and Dow set records despite tepid job report for July.

Wall Street pushed up to close at a new record high today even though job growth in July came in weaker than expected.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.4 percent, or 3.40 points, to 850.40, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.2 percent, or 30.34 points, to 15,658.36.

That’s the best close ever for both indices, but it’s retailers that are on a stronger run so far this year, up 30.2 percent against the Dow’s 19.5 percent gain.


The Labor Department said the U.S. added 162,000 jobs last month
, less than the 183,000 economists projected. Job growth is still relatively tepid given how long the economy has been in recovery mode, but the continued weakness has given some traders confidence that the Federal Reserve will wait longer to raise interest rates.

The unemployment rate, taken from a separate survey, fell to 7.4 percent from 7.6 percent, a bigger drop than projected.

The fashion gainers in the stock market included Lululemon Athletica Inc., up 2.3 percent to $72.70; L Brands Inc., 1.5 percent to $58.40; The TJX Cos. Inc.; 0.8 percent to $53.93, and The Jones Group Inc., 0.8 percent to $17.30.

Markets in Europe closed with mixed results. Paris’ CAC 40 gained 0.1 percent to 4,045.65, but other major markets fell. The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.5 percent to 6,647.87, Milan’s FTSE MIB slipped 0.2 percent to 16,779.19, and Frankfurt’s DAX lost 0.1 percent to 8,406.94. The euro traded at $1.31 against the dollar and the Swiss franc was valued at $1.07.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the day’s biggest gainers including Yoox, up 3.9 percent to 23 euros, after it reported a 22 percent increase in second-quarter net profits Thursday; The Swatch Group, 2.8 percent to 98.25 Swiss francs, and Compagnie Financière Richemont, 2.6 percent to 92.95 Swiss francs.

Among the few stocks losing ground were Safilo, which dropped 6.5 percent to 14.77 euros, and L’Oréal, which slid 0.5 percent to 127.20 euros.