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Retail Sales Rise Propels Wall Street

A stronger-than-projected September pushes U.S. retail stocks up 1 percent.

Stronger-than-expected September retail sales boosted Wall Street today.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 1 percent, or 6.16 points, to 650.57, as the sector outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gained 0.7 percent, or 95.38 points, to 13,424.23.

Among the stocks picking up steam were Express Inc., up 4.9 percent to $11.84; Guess Inc., 3.7 percent to $25.80; Warnaco Group Inc., 3.6 percent to $51.83; Coach Inc., 3.4 percent to $55.51; Chico’s FAS Inc., 3.3 percent to $18.72, and Ralph Lauren Corp., 3.2 percent to $159.81.

The Commerce Department said seasonally adjusted retail and food service sales rose 1.1 percent compared with August — better than the 0.8 percent gain economists projected. Apparel and accessories specialty store sales gained 0.6 percent, as department store sales dipped 0.2 percent.

The overall strength in spending was a welcome respite for Wall Street investors, who were hit with a barrage of dour global economic outlooks last week.

In Europe, markets were boosted by data from China, which showed a 9.9 percent rise in September exports, and investor hopes that Spain will ask for a bailout from its European Union partners.

Paris’ CAC 40 closed up 0.9 percent to 3,420.28, followed by Milan’s FTSE MIB, which climbed 0.5 percent to 15,590.72. Frankfurt’s DAX advanced 0.4 percent to 7,261.25, while London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent to 5,805.61.

The day’s biggest gainers included Asos.com, up 2.7 percent to 23.15 pounds; Geox, 3.3 percent to 2.33 euros, and Marks & Spencer Group, 1.3 percent to 3.85 pounds.

Among the stocks that fell were Marcolin, which sank 12 percent to 4.21 euros following news that Pai Partners planned to purchase a majority stake in the company; Ferragamo, which was down 1 percent to 16.89 euros; and Inditex, which declined 0.6 percent to 96.70 euros.

The euro traded at $1.30 versus the dollar while the pound traded at $1.61.