By  on March 1, 2010

Retail stocks picked up slightly on Friday, giving them a 1.9 percent advance for the week and a robust 6.1 percent gain for February.

The S&P Retail Index rose 0.1 percent Friday to 421.58, finishing the week in positive territory even as gains on the three major indices failed to pull them into the black for the week or year. The February lift for the retail index outpaced monthly increases of 2.6 percent for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, 2.9 percent for the S&P 500 and 4.2 percent for the Nasdaq Composite. Last week’s improvement for the retail index left it with a 2.6 percent year-to-date increase, versus declines of between 1 and 1.4 percent for the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

Among 172 public companies tracked by WWD, 92 had increases and 72 had decreases last week, while eight were flat.

While down for the week, London’s FTSE 100 and Paris’ CAC 40 were up on Friday. At 5,354.52, the FTSE was down 0.1 percent for the week and up 3.2 percent for the month, while the French index, at 3,708.80, was down 1.6 percent for the week and down 0.8 percent in February. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index excelled in Asia, rising 3.6 percent to 20,608.70 last week and 2.4 percent last month. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225, up less than 0.1 percent for the week, finished February down 0.7 percent.

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