The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 0.2 percent to 912.10 today even as the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.3 percent to 16,458.56.
Among the retail and apparel stocks that posted gains were Signet Jewelers Ltd., up 3.2 percent to $75.42; Vince Holding Corp., up 2.6 percent to $24.87; Quicksilver Inc, up 2.5 percent to $7.90, and Christopher & Banks Corp., up 1.8 percent to $8.00.
For those firms that lost ground, two beauty firms led the way. Elizabeth Arden Inc. fell 19 percent to $27.96 after a profit warning, while Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. slipped 6.3 percent to $79.47 following word that Chinese officials were investigating its operations in the country. Also losing ground were, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. down 5.5 percent to $6.52; Destination XL Group Inc., off 5.1 percent to $5.56 and Columbia Sportswear Co., down 4.7 percent to $75.38.
In the European markets, stocks edged up slightly, with the FTSE MIB in Milan leading the way.
The Italian market advanced 0.5 percent to 19,969.33; followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, 0.3 percent to 9,742.96; the FTSE 100 in London, 0.2 percent to 6,829.30, and the CAC 40 in Paris, 0.2 percent to 4,327.50.
The euro traded at $1.36 against the dollar, while the pound fetched $1.64, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.10.
Retail and luxury stocks put on a mixed show, with the day’s biggest gainers including Bonmarche Holding, up 5.9 percent to 2.87 pounds; Brunello Cucinelli, up 2.5 percent to 22.81 euros; Marks & Spencer Group, up 1.8 percent to 4.87 pounds, and Salvatore Ferragamo, ahead 1.6 percent to 24.47 euros.
Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Metro AG, down 2.1 percent to 34.92 euros; French Connection, 2.1 percent to 0.35 pounds; and Hugo Boss, 1.1 percent to 96.12 euros.