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Aéropostale Shares Plummet; Retail Sector Gains

Teen retailer drops 24.1 percent following first-quarter loss.

Steeper first-quarter losses drove shares of Aéropostale Inc. down 24.6 percent to $3.41 today as retail stocks overall gained ground.

Analysts expressed concern both about the chain’s liquidity and its ability to catch on with shoppers in the youth market. Late Thursday, the company reported a $76.8 million loss and a 12.5 percent sales decline.

But the broader stock picture was brighter headed into the long holiday weekend. The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.9 percent to 866.96, outpacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which increased 0.4 percent to 16,606.27.

The day’s gainers included Zumiez Inc., up 5.8 percent to $28.79; Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 2.9 percent to $96.40; Vince Holding Corp., 2.5 percent to $25.88, and Amazon.com Inc., 2.4 percent to $312.24.
In Europe, markets were also on the uptick.

The FTSE MIB in Milan led the upswing, climbing 1.8 percent to 20,745.96, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, 0.5 percent to 9,768.01, and the CAC 40 in Paris, 0.3 percent to 4,493.15. The FTSE 100 in London was the only market that lost ground, falling 0.1 percent to 6,815.75.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up in the region, with the day’s biggest gainers including Mulberry Group, up 2.5 percent to 7.17 pounds; Moncler, 3.1 percent to 12.81 euros, and Boohoo.com, 4.9 percent to 0.46 pounds.

Among the stocks that lost ground were Asos.com, down 2 percent to 42.54 pounds; Burberry Group, 1.7 percent to 15.03 pounds, and Marks & Spencer Group, 1 percent to 4.43 pounds.

The euro traded at $1.37 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound fetched $1.69 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.12.