By  on July 23, 2008

Oil prices dropped again Tuesday, paying dividends to retail stocks. Coming off disappointing results from American Express Co. and Wachovia Corp., stocks initially fell, but the market was soon energized by a $4 drop in the price of oil.Closing 2.4 percent higher at 352.58, up 8.38 points, or 2.4 percent, the Standard & Poor’s Retail Index outpaced the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.The Dow gained 135.16 points to close at 11,602.5, up 1.2 percent, while the S&P 500 increased 17 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,277.Missy retailers such as The Talbots Inc., Chico’s FAS Inc., The Dress Barn Inc. and Christopher & Banks Corp. all saw at least a 3 percent jump in their shares. Talbots closed at $11.71, up 93 cents a share, or 8.6 percent, while Chico’s stock closed at $6.11, up 23 cents, or 3.9 percent. Christopher & Banks’ stock closed at $8.38, gaining 71 cents, or 9.3 percent.Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. rebounded from its 20.3 percent drubbing on Monday with a 78 cent, or 5.8 percent, advance.Specialty teen retailer Zumiez Inc. was up 10.4 percent, closing at $15.03, more than erasing the 4.9 percent decline logged on Monday. Buckle Inc. closed at $51.69, up $2.73, surging 5.6 percent. Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. managed a leap of 41 cents, or 5 percent, to $8.60.Department stores Macy’s Inc. closed at $18.55, an 83 cent, or 4.7 percent, increase, while Saks Inc. had a 5.5 percent gain, closing at $11.12. Limited Brands Inc. also finished strongly, closing at $16.20, up 72 cents, or 4.5 percent. Dillard’s Inc. climbed 8.9 percent to 89 cents.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. advanced 3.1 percent, while rival Target Corp. saw a 0.7 percent gain.Among the largest advances for apparel vendors were Under Armour Inc., up 10.5 percent; Perry Ellis International Inc., up 10 percent; Columbia Sportswear Co., up 6.7 percent; Fossil Inc., up 5.9 percent and Liz Claiborne Inc. up 5.6 percent.

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