By  on August 18, 2014

A relaxation of tensions in Ukraine, Iraq and other international hot spots gave stocks a chance to move ahead and lifted the WWD Global Stock Tracker 0.9 percent to 98.94.

With Monday’s gain, the tracker, still below the baseline level of 100 set on its launch day of July 8, moved into positive territory over the last three months.

U.S. equities dominated the stocks with gains on a day when the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group advanced 1 percent to 917.14.

American Apparel Inc. advanced 5.6 percent to 94 cents for the strongest percentage gain, followed by American Eagle Outfitters Inc.’s 3.9 percent pickup to $11.14. J.C. Penney Co. Inc. returned to the leaderboard with a 3.9 percent rise to $9.87 following a decline on Friday. Quiksilver Inc. was up 3.3 percent to $3.13 while Kate Spade & Co. rose 3.2 percent to $32.66.

The leading stock outside the U.S. was Brunello Cucinelli SpA, ahead 3.2 percent to 17.33 euros, or $23.22 at current exchange.Just 19 of the 100 issues tracked by WWD lost ground, led by Li Ning Co.’s 3.8 percent decline to 4.54 Hong Kong dollars, or 59 cents, and Elizabeth Arden Inc., down 2.9 percent to $19.59. Lotte Shopping Co. was off 2.7 percent to 320,000 South Korean won, or $313.85, and Debenhams Plc traded down 2.1 percent to 63 pence, or $1.06. Samsonite International SA was down 1.6 percent to 24.05 Hong Kong dollars, or $3.10.

While the absence of further international turmoil helped stocks in Asia, U.S. stocks and to a slightly lesser degree those in Europe benefited from further signs of hot merger and acquisition activity as Dollar General Corp. entered the bidding for Family Dollars Stores Inc. with a $9.7 billion offer. On a valuation basis, the bid tops the $9.2 billion offer made last month by Dollar Tree Inc. for Family Dollar, a transaction already approved by the boards of both firms.

Urban Outfitters Inc. checked in after the close of the markets with second-quarter earnings that matched expectations and revenues that exceeded them. The TJX Cos. Inc. is due to report its Q2 results Tuesday morning.

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