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Retail Stocks Up 1.3%

European markets move lower.

U.S. retail stocks fought back after three days of losses to post a 1.3 percent increase.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group added 10.87 points to end the day at 877.12, gaining back a portion of the ground it surrendered over a three-session stretch during which it fell below 900 and lost 4.8 percent of its value.

The broader market picked up less ground, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.1 percent to 16,256.14 and the S&P 500 ahead 0.4 percent to 1,851.96.

Among the strongest gains in the fashion, retail and beauty sectors were Chico’s FAS Inc., up 8.4 percent to $16.97; Joe’s Jeans Inc., up 6.1 percent to $1.22, and Vera Bradley Inc., up 3.6 percent to $27.74. Joe’s Jeans is scheduled to report quarterly results after the market closes Wednesday.

Two beauty firms also registered strong gains as Elizabeth Arden Inc. advanced 3.5 percent to $28.34 and The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. rose 3.3 percent to $69.53. Lands’ End Inc. suffered the steepest decline among U.S. equities tracked by WWD in its second day of trading, declining 7.5 percent to $27.34, while former parent Sears Holdings Corp. shed 2.9 percent to close at $36.99. Avon Products Inc. shares slid 2.3 percent to $14.87.

Europe’s indices closed down for a second straight day.

The FSTE MIB in Milan fell the most, off 1.5 percent to 21,667.05, followed by the FTSE 100 in London, down 0.5 percent to 6,590.69. The CAC 40 in Paris dipped 0.3 percent to 4,424.83, while the DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.2 percent to 9,490.79.

Investors in Europe assumed a cautious stance following news of more potential unrest in Ukraine and wariness that the European Central Bank might not act to stimulate the region’s economy.

Among European stocks declining, Boohoo.com dipped 5.8 percent to 49 pence; fellow online retailer Koovs was down 4.3 percent to 1.80 pounds, and Asos.com lost 3.2 percent to 44.70 pounds.

Those in the sector on the upswing included Mulberry, which rose 3.1 percent to 7.10 pounds; Ferragamo, up 5 percent to 22.16 euros, and Gemfields, which gained 2 percent to 38 pence.

The pound traded for $1.66 against the U.S. dollar, while the euro changed hands for $1.37.