Sears Holdings Corp. led the retail pack on Wall Street today, jumping 14.1 percent to $38.33.
Investors appeared to have been heartened by signs of support from Thomas Tisch, who is a Sears board member and managing partner of investment firm Four Partners. Tisch spent $15.9 million this week to buy 475,000 Sears shares, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All told, he owns 2.1 million shares of the company.
About 58 percent of the Sears shares that float on the open market are sold short and pay off when the stock falls. That can lead to dramatic swings in the share price as short sellers look to unwind their bets.
The overall retail scene was comparatively sleepy in advance of the Easter holiday.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group inched up 0.1 percent to 867.54 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1 percent to 16,408.54.
Among the gainers were J.C. Penney Co. Inc., up 3.3 percent to $7.50; Vince Holding Corp., 3.2 percent to $26.10; Fossil Group Inc., 2.7 percent to $109.42, and Perry Ellis International Inc., 2 percent to $14.54.
Markets were on the rise in Europe. Frankfurt’s DAX increased 1 percent to 9,409.71 as London’s FTSE 10 rose 0.6 percent to 6,625.25, Paris’s CAC 40 increased 0.6 percent to 4,4311.81 and Milan’s FTSE MIB advanced 0.4 percent to 21,613.30.
Joining in on the rush up were Marks and Spencer Group, up 1.6 percent to 4.35 pounds; ASOS, 1.6 percent to 46.02 pounds; Hermès International, 1 percent to 255.65 euros; Tod’s, 0.7 percent to 101.90 euros, and Safilo Group, 0.6 percent to 14.45 euros.
The pound traded at $1.68 , while the euro fetched $1.38.