Some late-day buying brought retail stocks close to positive territory but wasn’t able to lift them to the breakeven point.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group finished the day off 0.14 points, well under 0.1 percent, at 854.72 after falling as much as 1 percent earlier in the day. It paralleled the path of the Nasdaq, which landed at 4,074.40, down less than 0.1 percent, after dropping more than 1.5 percent in midday trading.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both recovered from midday drops to end ahead 0.5 and 0.3 percent, respectively, at 16,448.74 and 1,869.43.
Scantly affected by tensions in Ukraine, tech stocks weighed on the market, with Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. down 2.7 and 2.1 percent to $56.14 and $40.73, respectively, and Amazon Inc. dropping 2.4 percent to $296.58, putting its two-session decline since last Thursday’s close at 12 percent. Apple Inc. shares were up 3.9 percent to $594.09.
Among U.S.-based retailers, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. shares rallied another 9 percent to close at $8.70, followed by Burlington Stores Inc., up 4.1 percent to $28.74, and Sears Holdings Corp., up 4 percent to $43.50.
The largest declines among U.S.-based retail, fashion and beauty stocks tracked by WWD came from Stage Stores Inc., down 9.9 percent to $19.93, and The Wet Seal Inc., off 8 percent to $1.15. Movado Group Inc. shares contracted 4.8 percent to $39.25.
European markets ended the day on a positive note, with the DAX in Frankfurt leading the way.
The German market was up 0.5 percent to 9,446.36, while the CAC 40 in Paris advanced 0.4 percent to 4460.53, and the FTSE MIB in Milan rose 0.3 percent to 21,513.82. The FTSE 100 in London advanced 0.2 percent to 6,700.16.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the day’s biggest gainers including Brunello Cucinelli, 2.1 percent to 20.87 euros; Geox, 1.5 percent to 3.15 euros; Unilever, 1.3 percent to 30.41 euros, and Moncler, 1.1 percent to 12.60 euros.
Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Yoox Group, 1 percent to 25.08 euros; Asos.com, 4.5 percent to 41.81 pounds, and Ted Baker, 2.6 percent to 19.05 pounds.
The euro traded at $1.38 against the U.S. dollar while the pound fetched $1.68 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.13.