NEW YORK — The equity markets Monday came roaring back from a down week, and retail shares outpaced the market at large.

The run-up reflected a combination of confidence that the holiday season will turn out better for stores than some feared, a value proposition after the markets declined last week and, on a lesser level, relief that New York started the week without a transit strike.

The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index pushed ahead 6.95 points, or 2.6 percent, to end the day at 279.88. This beat out the S&P 500, which was up 20.94 points, or 2.4 percent, to 910.42, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which ran up 193.69 points, or 2.3 percent, to 8,627.40.

Specialty retailers saw the biggest boost in their market capitalizations with American Eagle Outfitters up 7.1 percent to $15.59; Abercrombie & Fitch, 5.7 percent to $23.62; Ann Taylor, 4.4 percent to $21.83; Gap, 3.8 percent to $16.30; Too, 3.4 percent to $26.35 and Zale, 3 percent to $34.93.

Department stores that joined the rally included J.C. Penney Co., up 4.9 percent to $24.75; Sears, Roebuck & Co., 4.6 percent to $25.85; Nordstrom, 3.3 percent to $19.31; Saks, 2.6 percent to $12.82; Dillard’s, 2.4 percent to $16.55, and Federated, 2.1 percent to $29.32. Shares of Wal-Mart shot up 2.8 percent to $51.94, while Target’s shares rose 2.7 percent to $31.80.

Fashion vendors with ascending share prices included Quiksilver, up 8.5 percent to $28.20; Polo Ralph Lauren, 5.1 percent to $22.95; Liz Claiborne, 2.8 percent to $30.88; Coach, 2.4 percent to $33.27; Tommy Hilfiger, 2.2 percent to $7.37; Columbia Sportswear, 2 percent to $47.55, and VF Corp., 1.7 percent to $37.44.

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