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Retail Stocks Eke Out Gain, Up 1.5% for Week

Dow, S&P 500 hit fresh all-time highs in midday trading.

Retail shares scored the slightest of gains today, ending a strong week on a nominally positive note.

In the final minutes of trading, the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose to 888.05, just 0.09 points, or 0.01 percent, after spending nearly the entire day in negative territory. The miniscule advance essentially preserved the gain for the week at 1.5 percent, trimming the index’s decline for the year to 5.5 percent.

After hitting all-time highs earlier in the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both settled for gains of 0.2 percent, closing at 16,948.08 and 1,962.87, respectively.

Despite concerns about the effects of violence in Iraq on world oil markets, the indices were up 1 percent and 1.4 percent for the week and are ahead 2.2 percent and 6.2 percent so far in 2014.

Movado Group Inc. and Kate Spade & Co. were among the stronger performers in the worlds of fashion, retail and beauty, expanding 4.7 and 2.6 percent, respectively, to close at $41.42 and $39.20. International Flavors & Fragrances managed a 2 percent bound to close at $104.81.

American Apparel Inc., closely watched since the ouster of founder and chief executive Dov Charney late Wednesday, saw its shares grow 0.9 percent to 69 cents. The vertically integrated retailer, based in Los Angeles, is the subject of widespread speculation about a possible private-equity takeout since Charney’s suspension.

That didn’t prevent declines among other specialty stores, however.  Among the equities tracked by WWD, the largest slip came from Aéropostale Inc., down 4 percent to $3.36, followed by Christopher & Banks Corp.’s 3.2 percent descent to $8.44 and Birks Group Inc.’s 3.1 percent drop to $1.15.

Coach Inc., hit hard after it revealed plans to shutter some North American doors on Thursday, saw its shares drop again, closing at $34.73 for a 2.7 percent decrease.

Europe’s markets were mostly down at the close of trading Friday.
 
The FTSE MIB in Milan fell the most, closing down 1 percent to 21,988.08, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, down 0.5 percent to 4,541.34. The DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.2 percent to 9,987.24 while London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 6,825.20.

The results put the DAX up 0.8 percent for the week and up 4.6 percent for the year and the FTSE 100 up 0.7 percent for the week and 1.1 percent for the year. Milan’s exchange was off 0.8 percent for the week, reducing its year-to-date gains to 15.9 percent, while the Paris exchange dropped 0.04 percent for the week and is up 5.7 percent in 2014.

On the rise were stocks including Ted Baker, up 1.7 percent to 17.28 pounds; Italia Independent, up 1.2 percent to 33.90 euros; French Connection, up 1.6 percent to 65 pence, and Luxottica, which rose 3.5 percent to 43.20 euros.

Those finishing with declines included Mulberry, which lost 5.9 percent to 7 pounds; Tod’s, down 1.1 percent to 93.75 euros; Boohoo.com, which slipped 1.2 percent to 46 pence, and Debenhams, down 1.8 percent to 71 pence.

Debenhams on Friday reported a 0.7 percent rise in its same-store sales in the 14 weeks to June 7.

The pound traded for $1.70 against the U.S. dollar while the euro went for $1.36.