By  on April 27, 2010

Retail stocks resisted most of a late-afternoon sell-off on Wall Street Monday, finishing ahead 0.5 percent while the major indices gave up most of their advances from earlier in the day.

In its fifth consecutive positive session, the S&P Retail Index ended Monday trading at 497.18, up 2.59 points, and in the last hours of trading came within 0.07 ticks of the 500 mark, a point last visited on Sept. 19, 2007. The index last closed above 500 on July 24 of that year.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, up as high as 11,258.01 in morning trading, eked out its sixth-straight winning day with just a 0.75 point advance to 11,205.03. The S&P 500, most closely tied to financial stocks and the uncertainty currently surrounding them, fell 5.23 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,212.05.

Despite the upward drift in retail equities, some of the biggest movers among the 172 issues tracked by WWD were women’s specialty stores that lost ground. Charming Shoppes Inc. descended 5.1 percent to $5.98; Bebe Stores Inc., 4.7 percent to $9.37, and American Apparel Inc., 4.1 percent to $3.25, with smaller losses registered by Coldwater Creek Inc., Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., Chico’s FAS Inc. and Hot Topic Inc. Among men’s wear merchants, strong gains were registered by Casual Male Retail Group Inc., up 4.2 percent to $4.49, and The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., up 3.5 percent to $27.18.

European markets advanced on Monday as the CAC 40 in Paris picked up 1.2 percent to 3,997.39 after scaling the 4,000 mark earlier in the day and Frankfurt’s DAX also picked up 1.2 percent, ending the session at 6,332.10. London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.5 percent to 5,753.85.

The SSE Composite Index dropped 0.5 percent to 2,969.50 in Shanghai, but Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 scored a robust 2.3 percent gain to close at 11,165.79. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was up 1.6 percent to 21,587.06.

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