Retail Shares Up 0.4% on Wall Street

Earnings results trump lower reading on consumer confidence from The Conference Board.

Retail shares got back to their winning ways despite disappointing readings on consumer confidence and housing market conditions.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.4 percent to 857.77 following a small decline Monday. The major indices surpassed that performance as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 rose 0.5 percent to 16,535.37 and 1,878.33, respectively.

As investors waited for word on whether the Federal Reserve would further trim its bond-buying program, The Conference Board reported a small decline in its Consumer Confidence Index for April and the S&P/Case-Shiller index on housing prices showed a slight slowdown in the improvement in major-market home prices. But strong earnings results from Sprint Corp. and Merck & Co. appeared to assuage fears.

Tech and Web-related stocks regained some lost ground during the day, although Twitter Inc., up 4.6 percent to $42.62 in the day’s regular trading session, fell nearly 10 percent in after-hours trading after investors expressed disappointment with levels of growth in users and engagement reported along with first-quarter results.

Vince Holding Corp. racked up the biggest gain among U.S.-based fashion, retail and beauty issues tracked by WWD, rising 4.9 percent to $27.87, while Aérospostale Inc. shares improved 4 percent to end the day at $4.96.

Shares of Columbia Sportswear Co. were up 2.9 percent to $81.94 as trading ended Tuesday. After the close of the markets, the company said it had agreed to acquire Prana Living LLC for $190 million in cash, and also reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, sending shares up another 6.4 percent, to $87.19, in the first hour of after-hours trading.

Leading those with declines, Coach Inc. shares were down 9.3 percent to $45.71 after it reported a 20 percent decrease in third-quarter earnings accompanied by a 7.6 percent drop in sales. Other declines came from Burlington Stores Inc., 5.5 percent to $27.17; American Apparel Inc., 2.7 percent to 67 cents, and Stage Stores Inc., 2.4 percent to $19.45.

As in the U.S., markets in Europe closed up, led by Milan’s FTSE MIB, which gained 2.2 percent to 21,976.84. The DAX in Frankfurt rose 1.5 percent to 9,584.12 while the FTSE 100 in London and CAC 40 in Paris added 1 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, to end the day at 6,769.91 and 4,497.68.

Yoox Group led those with gains, adding 2.4 percent to 25.69 euros, while Metro AG gained 2.2 percent to 28.60 euros and Uniliever expanded 1.6 percent to 30.90 euros.

Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Koovs, 9.9 percent to 1.62 pounds; Mulberry Group, 5.2 percent to 6.76 pounds, and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 1 percent to 140.30 euros.

The euro traded at $1.38 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound fetched $1.68, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.14.