Retail Stocks Drop on Wall Street

Sector declines despite broader market gains; Ralph Lauren rises 5.5 percent.

Retail stocks fell on Wall Street today despite a general trend upward in the market.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group declined 0.5 percent to 894.06 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 percent to 15,746.88. Among the top gainers were Ralph Lauren Corp, which increased 5.5 percent to $180.52 after reporting lower, but still stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings, and Vera Bradley Inc., up 4.8 percent to $24.22.

The biggest decliners was Abercrombie & Fitch, which said late Tuesday that it was closing its Australian-themed Gilly Hicks intimates stores and moving the brand into its Hollister doors. Shares of Abercrombie fell 13.5 percent to $33.13.

Europe’s markets closed predominantly up, with the FTSE MIB leading the way.

The Italian market increased 0.9 percent to 19,262.51, while Paris’ CAC 40 gained 0.8 percent to 4,286.93, Frankfurt’s DAX increased 0.4 percent to 9,040.87, and London’s FTSE 100 lost 0.1 percent to 6,741.69.

Retail and luxury stocks mostly made small gains, with the day’s strongest gainers including Asos.com, up 2.4 percent to 59.13 pounds; Ferragamo, 1.7 percent to 77.40 euros, and Mulberry, 1.4 percent to 10.14 pounds.

Among the few stocks losing ground were Marks & Spencer, down 1.9 percent to 4.99 pounds, and Unilever, 0.8 percent to 28.91 euros.

The euro traded at $1.35 against the dollar while the pound fetched $1.61.