Retail Stocks Inch Up 0.1% on Wall Street

Zale and Abercrombie log double-digit gains; Sears loses ground.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.1 percent to 931.77 today, modestly outperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 0.1 percent decline to 16,437.05.

Among the major gainers were Zale Corp., which rose 14.7 percent to $16.23 after reporting holiday sales gains, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co., which increased 12 percent to $37.19 after it indicated that its holiday turned out better than previously thought.

On the downside, Sears Holdings Co. fell 13.8 percent to $36.71 after the company said its November and December comparable-store sales fell a combined 7.4 percent.

In Europe, markets were on the rise.

The FTSE 100 in London increased 0.7 percent to 6,739.94, while the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.6 percent to 4,250.60. The DAX in Frankfurt also rose 0.6 percent to 9,473.24 and the FTSE MIB in Milan closed up 0.3 percent to 9,473.24.

It was a mostly positive picture for fashion, luxury and retail stocks, too.

Among those perking up were Swatch Group, which gained 3.9 percent to 98.35 Swiss francs after the watchmaker reported Friday that its gross sales rose 8.3 percent in 2013. Richemont, whose portfolio includes watchmakers such as Piaget and IWC, gained 4 percent to 87.70 Swiss francs following Swatch’s positive update. Other luxury names that rose included Burberry, up 3.7 percent to 14.73 pounds and Mulberry, up 3 percent to 9.31 pounds.

Among the few stocks in the sector that fell were Aeffe, down 3.4 percent to 0.84 euros; Brunello Cucinelli, which dipped 2.4 percent to 23.24 euros, and Yoox, which slipped 2.7 percent to 31.34 euros.

The pound traded for $1.65 against the U.S. dollar, while the euro went for $1.36 and the Swiss franc for $1.10.