Retail Shares Shed 0.4% on Wall Street

American Apparel down to 53 cents as firm considers financing options, Charney seeks arbitration.

Retail stocks gave back gains registered in morning trading — and those achieved in Monday’s session as well — to fall for just the second time in seven days.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group dropped 0.4 percent to 886.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 weather steeper descents, falling 0.7 and 0.6 percent, respectively, to 16,818.13 and 1,949.98. The Dow’s fall was its largest in more than a month.

The losses on Wall Street came despite the Commerce Department’s report on new home sales reaching their highest level in six years, The Conference Board’s disclosure of a rise in the Consumer Confidence Index to its highest level since January 2008 and the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs’ word that sales in the week ended June 21 rose 4.1 percent, their largest year-on-year gain in more than a year.

Among fashion, retail and beauty issues tracked by WWD, the largest decline came from American Apparel Inc., shares of which fell 21.4 percent to 53 cents as ousted founder and chief executive Dov Charney opted to seek arbitration in his dispute with the company and the firm was reported to be considering debt or equity offerings to right its debt-heavy finances.

Other declines were less dramatic, including Quiksilver Inc.’s 4.4 percent drop to $3.51, G-III Apparel Group Ltd.’s 3.4 percent dip to $77.63 and Elizabeth Arden Inc.’s 3.1 percent retreat to $27.41. G-III said Monday that it would sell an additional 1.5 million shares of common stock in a public offering while Elizabeth Arden said earlier today that it would undertake a restructuring involving, among other measures, a reduction in head count and the closure of its affiliate in Puerto Rico.

Among about two dozen issues to advance, Delia’s Inc. led the pack with a 9.7 percent increase to 79 cents and Ralph Lauren Corp. gained 1.2 percent to close at $157.90.

Several specialty store chains also managed gains, including Aéropostale Inc., up 1.2 percent to $3.44; American Eagle Outfitters Inc., up 1.1 percent to $11.75; Zumiez Inc., up 1.1 percent to $27.28, and Ascena Retail Group Inc., up 0.6 percent to $17.28.

Markets in Europe held close to their opening marks, with the DAX in Frankfurt up 0.2 percent to 9,938.08 and the CAC 40 in Paris up 0.1 percent to 4,518.34. The FTSE 100 in London and FTSE MIB in Milan surrendered some ground as the London exchange declined 0.2 percent to 6,787.07 and the Milan composite off 0.3 percent to 21,641.24.

Among the largest gains were Mysale Group’s 2.6 percent move to 2.33 pounds and Salvatore Ferragamo’s 2.2 percent pick-up to 20.85 euros.

However, shares of Italia Independent Group were down 4.1 percent to 32.13 euros and Aeffe shares declined 3.4 percent to 1.26 euros.

The euro traded for $1.38 and the pound for $1.65 against the U.S. dollar.