By and  on October 22, 2012

U.S. retail and fashion stocks lost ground today as the overall market inched up modestly.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 0.6 percent, or 3.94 points, to 643.88, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 2.38 points to 13,345.89.

The retail sector was weighed down in particular by, which fell 2.6 percent to $233.78 ahead of what’s expected to be a new product presentation from Apple Inc. on Tuesday.

Shares of VF Corp. declined 4.4 percent to $159.46 after the company posted a 26.8 percent gain in third quarter profits, but missed revenue projections. Also declining were Aéropostale Inc., down 3.4 percent to $12.74; Coach Inc., 3.3 percent to $54.17, and Tumi Holdings Inc., 2.6 percent to $21.74.

In Europe, markets were mostly down after regional elections in Spain.

The victory of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s center-right party, the People’s Party, is widely seen as an endorsement of the government’s austerity drive and could ease the pressure on him to seek a bailout.The IBEX 35 in Madrid fell 0.5 percent, to 7,877.10.

The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.2 percent to 5,882.91, while the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 0.6 percent to 3,483.25. The DAX in Frankfurt contracted 0.7 percent to 7,328.05 and the FTSE MIB grew 0.03 percent to 15,866.78.

The day's gainers included, up 2.9 percent to 25.09 pounds; Swatch Group, 1.1 percent to 67.55 euros; Brunello Cucinelli, 0.9 percent to 14.13 euros, and Yoox, up 0.7 percent to 11.32 euros.

Among the decliners were Hermès, down 1.3 percent to 212.15 euros; Burberry, 1.4 percent to 11.72 pounds; Mulberry, 2.8 percent to 13.20 pounds; Ferragamo, 2.4 percent to 15.95 euros, and L’Oreal, 1.6 percent to 99.39 euros.

The pound traded at $1.60 versus the U.S. dollar while the euro traded at $1.30.

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