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Retail Shares Eke Out Advance

Destination Maternity gains ground on interest in U.K.’s Mothercare.

Retail shares followed a large gain on Monday with a smaller one, aligning with the major indices by just breaking even.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 0.1 percent to close at 902.83, closely paralleling the 0.1 percent gains logged by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500, which ended the day at 16,976.24 and 1,974.62, respectively.

Among the U.S.-based fashion, retail and beauty equities tracked by WWD, the largest gain came from Destination Maternity Inc., with shares up 6 percent to $24.46. The Philadelphia-based firm disclosed early Wednesday that two acquisition proposals made to U.K.-based Mothercare had been spurned. Mothercare’s shares were up 8.4 percent to 2.52 pounds in London trading.

The only other stocks in the WWD sample to gain more than 3 percent were The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., up 3.3 percent to $58.21, and J.C. Penney Co. Inc., up 3.2 percent to $9.36.
Issues in decline included American Apparel Inc., off 4.6 percent to 83 cents, and Kate Spade & Co., down 2.6 percent to $37.45.

Investors digested ADP’s June jobs report, showing that 281,000 private sector jobs were created in June, above analysts’ expectations, and will be looking for positive news when the Department of Labor discloses monthly results on Thursday. However, good news on the job front could move the market in the opposite direction if it’s seen as pushing the Federal Reserve to accelerate cuts in its bond-buying program or raise interest rates from their current low levels.

In Europe, markets in London, Frankfurt and Milan advanced while the CAC 40 in Paris went against the grain, falling 0.4 percent to 4,444.72.

The FTSE MIB in Milan was up 0.5 percent to 21,678.58, while the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.2 percent to 6,816.37 and the DAX in Frankfurt ascended 0.1 percent to 9,911.27.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with exceptions including Mysale.com, down 4.8 percent to 2 pounds; Boohoo.com, off 2.3 percent to 43 pence, and Yoox Group, 1.5 percent lower at 19.29 euros.

Among the day’s biggest increases were French Connection Group’s 10.5 percent bound to 69 pence, Geox’s 4.7 percent jump to 2.85 euros; Asos.com’s 3.1 percent advance to 30.54 pounds; Carrefour’s 2.1 percent increase to 27.88 euros, and Marks & Spencer Group’s 1.2 percent gain to 4.32 pounds.

The euro traded at $1.37 while the pound fetched $1.71 and the Swiss franc fetched $1.13.