By and  on April 2, 2014

Retail shares pulled off their fourth consecutive gain in the aftermath of a seven-day losing streak — and outperformed the S&P 500, which set a new all-time high.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.7 percent to 909.55 today, building on the 1.5 percent advance that pulled the index over the 900 mark on Tuesday.

S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to 1,890.90, closing at its highest level ever, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.2 percent to 16,573.

Investors were encouraged by ADP’s report that private employers added 191,000 jobs in March and an upward revision in the February figure to 178,000.

Cache Inc. shares rose 7 percent to $3.50 while those of Aéropostale Inc. were up 6 percent to $5.33. Elsewhere among teen retailers, Zumiez Inc. added 5.1 percent to $26.03 and Pacific Sunwear of California 4.7 percent to $3.11.

However, Delia’s Inc. shares shed 6.3 percent to close at 90 cents. Vince Holding Corp. shares fell 2.7 percent to $26.28 and Elizabeth Arden Inc.’s surrendered 2.2 percent to $28.74.

European stock markets closed the day in positive territory, with the exception of Milan's FTSE MIB, which was down 1 percent to 21,692.04.

The DAX in Frankfurt closed up 0.2 percent to 9,623.36, while the CAC 40 in Paris and the FTSE 100 in London both advanced 0.1 percent to 4,430.86 and to 6,659.04, respectively.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the exception of Tod's, down 1.9 percent to 95.05 euros; Yoox.com, 1.2 percent to 24.83 euros, and Brunello Cucinelli, 1.5 percent to 19.88 euros.

Among the stocks that gained the most ground were Boohoo.com, up 4.9 percent to 57 pence; Marks & Spencer Group, 2.2 percent to 4.70 pounds, and Moncler, 2.3 percent to 12.68 euros.

The euro traded at $1.38 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound fetched $1.66 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.13.

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