By and  on November 25, 2013

U.S. retail stocks muscled their way to gains today as pre-holiday trading left the major indices mixed.

Gains from earlier in the day, prompted by optimism over the agreement with Iran to limit its nuclear program, evaporated in afternoon trading.

The S&P Retailing Industry Group closed up 0.4 percent to 918.23 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 percent to 16,072.54 and the S&P 500 stepped back 0.1 percent to 1,802.48.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s shares hit an all-time high of $80.57 before ending the day at $80.43, up 62 cents or 0.8 percent, as investors absorbed the news of C. Douglas McMillon’s promotion to chief executive officer at the end of the current fiscal year. More significant gains came from such broadlines retailers as Sears Holdings Corp., up 7.3 percent to $65.80; J.C. Penney Co. Inc., up 3.3 percent to $9.19; Macy’s Inc., up 2 percent to $52.28, and Kohl’s Corp., up 1.3 percent to $55.85.

After its strong initial public offering on Friday, shares of Vince Holding Corp.gave back 3.2 percent today to close at $27.75. Shares of Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. surrendered 4.7 and 3.1 percent, respectively, to close at $39.06 and $44.82. Shares of Zale Corp., which is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings after the markets close Tuesday, receded 4.4 percent to $14.28.

Europe’s markets closed mostly up.

The DAX in Frankfurt led the way, rising 0.9 percent to 9,299.95 as the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.6 percent to 4,301.97. London’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.3 percent to 6,694.64 and Milan’s FTSE MIB dropped 0.2 percent to 18,784.30.

The euro traded at $1.36 against the dollar and the pound went for $1.62.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the day’s strongest gainers including Mulberry, up 3.4 percent to 10.49 pounds, as Tod’s and Ferragamo both gained 3.9 percent, to 121.80 euros and 28.58 euros, respectively.  Burberry rose 1.4 percent to 14.98 pounds.
 
Among the few shares losing ground were Asos.com, down 0.4 percent to 57.91 pounds, and Gemfields, which lost 4 percent to 0.36 pounds.

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