– SLIM UPS SAKS STAKE: Billionaire Carlos Slim Helú said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday that his stake in Saks Inc. was 9.4 percent, which compares with a 7.9 percent holding reported earlier this month. Last month, Jennison Associates LLC, an affiliate of Prudential Financial Inc., said in an SEC filing that it amassed a 10.9 percent stake in Saks, up from a 7.9 percent stake in the company. Marsico Capital Management reported to the SEC last Friday that, by the end of January, it had upped its stake in the retailer to 16.4 percent. The fund held 10.4 percent of Saks a year earlier.
– RETAIL FALLS: The S&P Retail Index dropped 2.8 percent to 395.26 Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the economy will continue to be sluggish. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 1.4 percent to 12,376.98, while the broader S&P 500 sank 1.3 percent to 1,348.86. Liz Claiborne Inc. and Jones Apparel Group Inc. made the New York Stock Exchange’s list of biggest decliners, falling 18.4 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively. Liz Claiborne closed at $18.31, while Jones ended the day at $15.45. Other notable decliners included Ann Taylor Stores, which closed down 5.4 percent to $24.44; Charming Shoppes Inc., sliding 8.1 percent to $4.32, and Citi Trends Inc., which plummeted 12 percent to $15.03.