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U.S. Retail Stocks Bounce Back

Shares of Bon-Ton take dive after downgrade.

U.S. retail stocks bounced back today, posting their first gain of the week.

 

The S&P Retail Index inched back toward its all-time high and rose 0.9 percent, or 6.06 points, to 667.09 as trading settled. The sector is still 1 percent off its high, set Friday.

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day with a gain of just 0.1 percent, or 13.32 points, to 13,577.96.

 

Among those picking up steam were Tilly’s Inc., 5 percent to $18.35; Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 2.5 percent to $38.79; Warnaco Group Inc., 2.4 percent to $53.61, and Ann Inc., 2.3 percent to $38.35.

 

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. was a prominent exception, falling 11.9 percent to $11.42 after Credit Suisse analyst Michael Exstein downgraded the stock to underperform from neutral.

 

Exstein was complimentary of Brendan Hoffman, who became chief executive officer in February, but said the stock had become too expensive, nearly doubling since early August. “Despite making great strides in just a few months, the road ahead remains difficult, and we still are cautious in regards to [Bon-Ton’s] ability to grow [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization],” the analyst said. In Europe, Frankfurt’s DAX led stocks higher.

 

The German market rose 0.6 percent to 7,390.76, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, which was up 0.5 percent to 3,531.82. The FTSE 100 in London climbed 0.4 percent to 5,888.48 while the FTSE MIB in Milan advanced 0.2 percent to 16,100.23.

 

The day’s biggest gainers included Inditex, which increased 3.7 percent to 95.31 on the back of a double-digit rise in first-half profits and sales.

 

Luxottica Group advanced 2.7 percent to 27.90 euros; while Geox was up 2.6 percent to 2.29 euros, and Asos.com rose 1.8 percent to 20.77 pounds on a 31 percent rise in sales driven by international expansion.

 

The euro traded at $1.31 versus the dollar while the pound traded at $1.62.