Wall Street rallied to a record high Monday amid speculation that the subprime mortgage crisis has bottomed out, and apparel retail stocks benefited.
The biggest industry winner was preppy retailer J. Crew Group, which jumped 4.9 percent to close at $43.53. Specialty retailers such as AnnTaylor Stores Corp., Gap Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. also recorded increases. Shares of Ann Taylor were up 1.2 percent to close at $32.05, teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch was ahead 1.92 percent to $82.25 and Gap shares inched up 0.3 percent to $18.50.
The department store sector had gains as well. Macy's Inc. spiked 3 percent to $33.28, J.C. Penney Inc. increased 1.04 percent at $64.03 and Sears Holdings Corp. rose 2.4 percent to $130.28.
Among high-end stores, Saks Inc. gained 1.6 percent to $17.42, and Nordstrom Inc. increased 0.8 percent to $47.28.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.4 percent to close at 14,087.55, which broke the previous high of 14,000.41 set on July 19. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 1.3 percent, to 1,547.04, and the Nasdaq rose 1.5 percent, to 2,740.99, the highest in six years.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"