By and  on June 12, 2008

Retail shares were mired in red on Wednesday as oil prices soared to more than $140 a barrel.

The S&P Retail Index pulled back 2.4 percent to close at 379.34, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 205.99 points, or 1.7 percent, to close at 12,083.77. The broader S&P 500 also fell 1.7 percent to 1,335.49.

Teen retailer Buckle Inc., which has remained relatively stable during the economic downturn, declined 7.5 percent to $45.13, which was 4 cents above its low for the day but 12.3 percent less than its 52-week high of $51.45 on May 16.

J. Crew Group slid 6 percent to close at $33.20, Guess Inc. was down 7 percent to $39.79, American Apparel Inc. sank 7.7 percent to $5.90, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. dropped 3.3 percent to $15.95 and Aéropostale Inc. fell 3 percent to close at $32.42.

In the department store sector, Macy's Inc. lost 4.4 percent to $20.86, Sears Holdings Corp. declined 2.5 percent to $80 and Kohl's Corp. dropped 3.1 percent to end the day at $42.59.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. lost 2.1 percent to $58.52, while rival Target Corp. slid 3 percent to $51.61. Among off-pricers, TJX Cos. Inc. was off 3.1 percent to $31.28 and Ross Stores Inc. slipped 1.7 percent to $36.17.

Talbots Inc. was one of the only gainers in the specialty sector, increasing 3.7 percent to $8.62, after management said on Wednesday that majority stockholder Aeon Co. Ltd. agreed to provide the retailer with a $50 million unsecured subordinated working capital term loan credit facility that will mature on Jan. 28, 2012. This will supplement current capital lines of credit of $165 million and increase the retailer's total working capital borrowing capacity to $215 million. Interest on the outstanding principal will be the London Interbank Offered Rate, known as LIBOR, plus 500 basis points.

"While we believe we had in place sufficient liquidity to fund the turnaround of our business, this new credit facility will provide us with an additional level of assurance and even greater flexibility to weather the current uncertainty in the credit markets," said Talbots' president and chief executive officer, Trudy Sullivan.


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