The retail sector underperformed on Wall Street today as Dillard’s Inc. — the first major department store to report fourth-quarter results — disappointed investors even as earnings rose.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 2 percent, or 14.07 points, to 682.37, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 1.6 percent, or 216.40 points, to 13,784.17.


Dillard’s posted the steepest decline in the fashion sector, falling 9.4 percent to $76.92. The retailer’s adjusted earnings per share increased 29.9 percent to $2.87, 2 cents shy of the $2.89 analysts projected.

Also posting declines were Maidenform Brands Inc., down 5.1 percent to $18.69; J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 4.3 percent to $21.51; Avon Products Inc., 3.7 percent to $19.22, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 3.6 percent to $45.17.

Macy’s Inc. and Saks Inc. will both weigh in on their year-end results Tuesday. Shares of Saks fell 1.7 percent to $11.04 as Macy’s dipped 1.4 percent to $38.52.

In Europe, markets closed on an upbeat note.

Frankfurt’s DAX advanced 1.5 percent to 7,773.19 while the FTSE 100 in London was up 1 percent to 6,355.37. The FTSE MIB in Milan rose 0.7 percent to 16,351.99, while the CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.4 percent to 3,721.33.

The euro traded at $1.32, while the pound traded at $1.52 and the Swiss franc traded at $1.08.

Retail and luxury stocks put on a mixed show, with the day’s biggest gainers including Tod’s, which advanced 2.3 percent to 108.30 euros; Inditex, 1.2 percent to 103.40 euros, and L’Oreal, 1.9 percent to 114.70 euros.

Among the stocks that lost ground were Marks & Spencer Group, down 2.6 percent to 3.68 pounds, and Geox, which retreated 1.3 percent to 2.56 euros.