Wall Street drifted lower today, with the S&P Retail Index falling 0.2 percent, or 1.53 points, to 656.55.
The sector modestly outperformed the market overall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.4 percent, or 52.35 points, to 13,254.29. The decliners included Zumiez Inc., down 5.8 percent to $27.47; Zale Corp., 5.1 percent to $5.55; Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 4.5 percent to $53.50; The Jones Group Inc., 1.8 percent to $13.10, and Sears Holdings Corp., 1.8 percent to $57.15.
And markets were largely flat in Europe.
The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.03 percent to 5,793.20, while the DAX in Frankfurt slipped just 0.01 percent to 7,213.70. The FTSE MIB in Milan fell 0.1 percent to 16,092.06 and the CAC 40 in Paris declined 0.4 percent to 3,506.05.
Investors continued to keep a close eye on economic news from China, which reported slower-than-expected growth in exports and a fall in imports today.
Japan also said today that its second quarter growth fell 0.7 percent. Investors are awaiting the decision of Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court this week, which will decide if the country will continue to contribute to a bailout fund for euro zone countries.
Among the gainers in the fashion, luxury and retail sectors were Marks & Spencer, up 2.7 percent to 3.71 pounds; Mulberry, 2.1 percent to 13.58 pounds; Ferragamo, 3.5 percent to 18.11 euros, and Richemont, 2.3 percent to 64.15 Swiss francs.
The decliners included Marcolin, down 2.8 percent to 4.09 euros; Unilever, 1.6 percent to 27.41 euros, and Beiersdorf, 0.8 percent to 56.41 euros.
The pound traded for $1.60, while the euro traded for $1.28 and the Swiss franc for $1.06.