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Wall Street Posts Election Day Gains

Retail stocks up 0.6 percent, Dow ahead 1 percent.

Wall Street perked up as Americans headed to the polls today.

The S&P Retailing Industry Group rose 0.6 percent, or 4.09 points, to 658.97, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 1 percent, or 133.24 points, to 13,245.68.

Among the gainers were Gap Inc., up 1.6 percent to $35.94; Nordstrom Inc., 1 percent to $58.20; J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 0.8 percent to $23.53, and Macy’s Inc., 0.5 percent to $41.38. All of those companies release third quarter results over the next two weeks. Macy’s kicks off  the main retail earnings season Wednesday morning.

Losing ground for the day was Fossil Inc. Shares of the watchmaker fell 10.5 percent to $84.24 after the firm’s third-quarter sales fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Analysts hope consumers will refocus on the holiday season once the distracting — an in some states all-consuming—ballot battle between President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney is finished.

In Europe, markets were generally up as the U.S. election overshadowed concerns about the struggling euro zone as investors await the result of who will be spending the next term in the White House.

Paris’ CAC 40 and Milan’s FTSE MIB led the way up with both markets gaining 0.9 percent, to 3,478.66 and 15,683.71, respectively. London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.8 percent to 5,884.90, while Frankfurt’s DAX expanded 0.7 percent to 7,377.76.

The day’s gainers including Marks & Spencer, which advanced 2.8 percent to 3.99 pounds after first-half profits fell less than expected; Safilo, was up 1.8 percent to 6.62 euros; PPR, 1.2 percent to 136.70 euros, and both Asos.com and Burberry were up 1 percent, to 23.02 pounds and 12.52 pounds, respectively.

Bucking the upward trend was Mulberry, down 1.7 percent to 10.07 pounds. Both Ferragamo and Yoox were down 0.9 percent, to 16.20 euros and 11.70 euros, respectively.

The pound traded at $1.60 and the euro was worth $1.28.