By  on July 16, 2010

A sharp drop in consumer confidence pushed down retail stocks 3.3 percent Friday and 1.2 percent for the week.

The S&P Retail Index slipped back below 400, falling 13.35 points to 390.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 2.5 percent, or 261.41 points, to 10,097.90, losing 1 percent for the week.

Fashion’s decliners on Friday included Liz Claiborne Inc., down 8.1 percent to $4.33; AnnTaylor Stores Corp., 7.1 percent to $16.02; Jones Apparel Group Inc., 7 percent to $14.49; Macy’s Inc., 6.2 percent to $17.16; Saks Inc., 5.9 percent to $7.45; J. Crew Group Inc., 5.9 percent to $33.05, and Nordstrom Inc., 5.8 percent to $32.25.

Of the 172 stocks tracked by WWD, 121 fell last week, seven were flat and 44 rose.

Consumer confidence hit an 11-month low, according to Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s Survey of Consumers. A preliminary reading of the index for this month showed a decline to 66.5 from 76 last month. Economists expected a retreat to 74.

“American consumers are troubled by reduced values of residential properties, tight credit, high debt burdens and high levels of unemployment,” Chris G. Christopher Jr., senior principal economist at IHS Global Insight, said in an analysis. “This is a very troubling report” on consumer sentiment.

Investors were also reading the tea leaves in second-quarter updates from corporate giants and they didn’t particularly like what they saw. General Electric Co.’s revenues slid 4 percent and missed analysts’ target for the quarter and, late Thursday, Google Inc.’s quarterly profits fell short of Wall Street’s mark.

International markets were generally on the wane last week, with the CAC 40 in Paris, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo and the SSE Composite Index in Shanghai all down more than 1.5 percent. The Hang Seng Index fell a milder 0.6 percent in Hong Kong and the DAX was off 0.4 percent in Frankfurt. The FTSE 100 rose 0.5 percent in London.

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