By and  on December 19, 2013

Retail stocks and the major indices settled down today after Wednesday’s rousing finish, which followed the Federal Reserve’s move to taper its stimulus program.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group surrendered 0.3 percent to end the trading session at 929.44. The Dow Jones Industrial Average followed its 292.71-point leap Wednesday with a 0.1 percent advance to 16,179.08 while the S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent to land at 1,809.60.

Among the U.S. fashion, retail and beauty stocks tracked by WWD, declines outnumbered advances by about a two-to-one margin with The Wet Seal Inc. losing the most ground, pulling back 4.9 percent to $2.54 a share. The Jones Group Inc. lost 2.2 percent to end the session at $14.13 as investors showed impatience with the long wait for its expected acquisition by Sycamore Partners.

Target Corp. shares diminished 2.2 percent to $62.15 as consumers absorbed the news of a security breach affecting about 40 million credit and debit accounts used in its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

Burlington Stores Inc. and Twitter Inc. posted the biggest gains for the day among the WWD sample, expanding 4.1 and 3.6 percent, respectively, to $29.72 and $57.49. Sears Holdings Corp. shares were up 3.5 percent to $45.49.

European stock markets made gains at the close of the trading day, with the FTSE MIB in Milan leading the way.

The Italian market was up 1.8 percent to 18,453.99, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, 1.7 percent to 9,335.74; the CAC 40 in Paris, 1.6 percent to 4,177.03, and the FTSE 100 in London, 1.4 percent to 6,584.70.

The euro traded at $1.38 against the U.S. Dollar, while the pound fetched $1.63 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.13.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the day’s biggest gainers including Yoox.com, up 6.9 percent to 31 euros; Unilever, 2.3 percent to 28.47 euros; Inditex, 2.5 percent to 115.85 euros; French Connection, 5 percent to 0.37 pounds; Brunello Cucinelli, 3 percent to 25.45 euros; and Asos.com, 2.5 percent to 60.94 pounds.

Among the few stocks that lost ground were Mulberry Group, 0.8 percent to 9.48 pounds, and The Swatch Group, 0.7 percent to 98 Swiss francs.

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