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Sears Shares Drop Sharply After Loss

Retailer’s stock down in up day for the sector.

Steep third-quarter losses drove Sears Holding Corp.’s stock down 19.1 percent to $47.32 by 1:00 p.m. today on Wall Street, where the general sentiment toward retailers was more bullish.

Late Thursday, Sears said its net losses for the three months totaled $498 million, although adjusted losses before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization narrowed versus a year ago to $156 million. After losing market share for years, Sears is trying to reinvent itself, focusing on the Shop Your Way membership program that spans that bridges the Web and the firm’s stores. More than half of Sears and Kmart’s revenues come from Shop Your Way members.

Conversely, the S&P 500 Retailing Index, which does not include Sears, was up 0.8 percent to 639.91, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.2 percent, or 28.65 points, to 12,571.03.

Fashion-industry gainers included G-III Apparel Group Ltd., up 3.8 percent to $35.76; Lululemon Athletica Inc., 3.3 percent to $68.02; Saks Inc., 2.9 percent to $10.19; Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 2.6 percent to $49.73, and Amazon.com Inc., up 2.2 percent to $225.46.

There are still some serious question marks for this year’s holiday season, including the lingering impact of Hurricane Sandy and the uncertainty caused by Washington’s debate over how to avoid the fiscal cliff.
But one sector is poised to keep growing — the Web.

The Commerce Department said third-quarter e-commerce sales jumped 17.3 percent to $56.99 billion versus a year ago. The Web now makes up 5.2 percent of all retail sales, up from 4.7 percent a year ago.
In Europe, markets were down.

The FTSE MIB in Milan led the slide, falling 2 percent to 14,855.79, followed by the FSTE 100 in London, which was down 1.3 percent to 5,605.59. The DAX in Frankfurt also declined 1.3 percent to 6,950.53. The CAC 40 in Paris was down 1.2 percent to 3,341.52.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down with the markets. The day’s biggest decliners included LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, down 1.7 percent to 123.70 euros; Unilever, 1.6 percent to 27.70 euros; Safilo Group, 3.5 percent to 6.14 euros and Brunello Cucinelli and Carrefour, which were both down 1.7 percent, to 12.43 euros and to 17.58 euros, respectively.

The euro traded at $1.28 versus the dollar while the pound traded at $1.58.