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Retail Stocks Rise in Down Market

Sector shines with boost from TJX, Home Depot.

Retail stocks managed to transcend a down market and rise 1 percent on Wall Street today.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 6.28 points to 642.59, outshining the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell 0.5 percent, or 58.90 points, to 12,756.18 as investors continued to worry about the pending fiscal cliff at the end of the year.

The retail sector was buoyed in part by The TJX Cos. Inc., which rose 2.7 percent to $42.06 after the company reported solid third-quarter results with a 7 percent comparable-store sales gain. The other pillar for retail stocks was The Home Depot Inc., which rose 3.6 percent to $63.38 on the back of an improved 2012 outlook.

Other fashion companies gaining ground were The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., up 4.2 percent to $11.56; Under Armour Inc., 3.1 percent to $51.14; Hanesbrands Inc., 2.8 percent to $33.70, and Limited Brands Inc., 1.9 percent to $47.31.

In Europe, markets closed higher with news that Greece managed to raise at least 4 billion euros, or $5.08 billion at current exchange, from an auction of one-month and three-month treasury bills.

The money raised by Greece will be used to pay bills that are due later this week, but European finance ministers are still in disagreement over the strategy and timeline for a Greek bailout.

The FTSE MIB in Milan led the way, gaining 1.4 percent to 15,333.15, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, which grew 0.6 percent to 3,430.25. The FTSE 100 in London expanded 0.3 percent to 5,786.25 and the DAX in Frankfurt was flat, up just 0.01 percent to 7,169.12.

The day’s biggest fashion gainers included Luxottica, up 2.4 percent to 29.86 euros, and Yoox, 2.3 percent to 11.41 euros. Both LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton and Safilo were up 1.4 percent, to 127.85 and 6.43 euros, respectively.

Losing ground were Tod’s, down 6.3 percent to 88 euros; Brunello Cucinelli, 5.3 percent to 12.77 euros; and Ferragamo, which dipped 0.8 percent despite registering an 8 percent increase in net profits to 84.7 million euros, or $108.4 million, in the first nine months of the year.

The euro traded at $1.27 versus the dollar, while the pound was valued at $1.59.