Retail Joins Dow, S&P With Declines

S&P Retailing Industry Group falls 0.6 percent on Wall Street.

Retail stocks lost ground for the seventh time in 11 trading days as major indices in the U.S. and Europe saw declines.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group was down 0.6 percent to 914, a steeper drop than the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 0.4 percent drop to 16,417.01 and the S&P 500’s 0.1 percent contraction to 1,845.89.

Both the Dow and S&P hit all-time highs on Wednesday.

Among the fashion, retail and beauty stocks tracked by WWD, Nu Skin Enterprises sustained by far the largest decline, falling 26.4 percent to $84.80 after acknowledging that Chinese regulators were investigating the company’s recruiting practices and that it had initiated a “province-by-province” probe of its own. Birks Group Inc. shares declined 11.5 percent to $1.16 after it reported weak holiday sales earlier in the week, while Vince Holding Corp. was down 4.7 percent to $24.24 and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. off 3.6 percent to $14.41.

Those logging gains were led by Sears Holdings Corp., up 4.6 percent to $38.37, and Zale Corp., ahead 2.5 percent to $15.01. Sears said it had leased the upper level of its two-story store in King of Prussia, Pa., to Dick’s Sporting Goods.

European markets also lost ground, led by Milan’s FTSE MIB, which was down 0.9 percent to 19,875.69.

The CAC 40 was down 0.3 percent to 4,319.27; the DAX in Frankfurt, 0.2 percent to 9,717.71; and the FTSE 100 in London, 0.1 percent to 6,815.42.

Retail and luxury stocks put on a mixed show, with the day’s biggest gainers including Asos.com, 3.2 percent to 69.07 pounds; L’Oreal, 2.6 percent to 125.75 euros; and Bonmarche Holding, 4 percent to 2.82 pounds. Bonmarche isn’t affiliated with the Le Bon Marché department store in Paris.

Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Carrefour SA, down 3.7 percent to 27.25 euros; Burberry Group, 2.4 percent to 15 pounds; and, after revealing a slowdown in third-quarter sales, Compagnie Financière Richemont, 2 percent to 87 Swiss francs.

The pound traded for $1.64 against the U.S. dollar while the euro was spotted at $1.36 and the Swiss franc at $1.10.