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American Apparel Sees Late-Day Spike

Embattled vertical retailer’s shares up 29.8% as retail stocks finish flat.

Shares of American Apparel Inc. jumped in the final minutes of trading for the week, finishing the trading session up 29.8 percent at 97 cents.

There was no immediate word of news from the company, which is seeking a waiver from Lion Capital after its dismissal of founder Dov Charney as chief executive officer put Lion’s $10 million loan to American at risk of default as Charney has sought arbitration over his ouster.

Allan Mayer, cochairman of the company, said it was in talks with Lion and that American Apparel had access to capital should the loan be called.

The sudden spike in the company’s stock provided some drama on a day in which it was lacking. The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group was virtually unchanged, up 0.01 percent for both the day and the week to 888.12. The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent to 1,960.96 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.03 percent to 16,851.84.

The Dow was down 0.6 percent for the week, reducing its year-to-date gain to 1.7 percent as the halfway point of 2014 nears. The S&P 500 was off 5.2 percent for the week and is up 0.7 percent so far this year.

Specialty stores dominated those managing gains among U.S.-based retail, fashion and beauty stocks tracked by WWD. The Wet Seal Inc. was up 5.8 percent to 91 cents, Aéropostale Inc. up 3.8 percent to $3.55 and Chico’s FAS Inc. up 3.4 percent to $16.90 following the promotion of Todd Vogensen to chief financial officer.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. shares were up 1.7 percent to $43.04 after Jefferies analyst Randal Konik lifted his target price for the stock to $60 from $50.

Shares of G-III Apparel Group Ltd. were off 1.5 percent to $81.83 while Kate Spade & Co. dropped 1.3 percent to $38.13.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 in London was up 0.3 percent to 6,757.77, while the DAX in Frankfurt climbed 0.1 percent to 9,815.17. The CAC 40 in Paris was down 0.1 percent to 4,436.98, while the FTSE MIB in Milan fell 0.3 percent to 21,319.76.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the exception of Koovs and Safilo Group, which fell 1.8 percent to 1.40 pounds and 16.06 euros, respectively, and Debenhams, off 1.5 percent to 0.67 pounds.

Among the day’s biggest gainers were French Connection Group, 4.5 percent to 64 pence; Italia Independent Group, 3.3 percent to 31 euros; Aeffe, 2.9 percent to 1.23 euros, and Gemfields, 1.3 percent to 50 pence.

The euro traded at $1.36 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound fetched $1.70 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.12.