By  on October 1, 2008

Shares of U.S. retail companies were sharply lower in earlytrading Wednesday as uncertainty about the credit markets and tonight’s Senatebailout vote weighed heavily on investors.
The Standard & Poor’sRetail Index dropped 2.1 percent in the first 40 minutes of trading, placing itat 354.85. That outpaced the 1.5 percent drop in the Dow Jones IndustrialAverage, which fell 158.34 points, or 1.5 percent, to 10,692,32 at the firsthour of activity.

Saks was off 3.7 percent to $8.91 while Macy’s andNordstrom dropped 2.7 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, to $17.49 and$28.11. Among the other companies shedding market value early Wednesday wereCache (4.4 percent to $6.57), Bon-Ton Stores (3.7 percent to $2.82), Talbots(3.6 percent to $12.63), Retail Ventures (3.1 percent to $3.78), AnnTaylor (3.1percent to $20.01) and The Children’s Place (3 percent to$34.36).
Overseas markets were generally lower, with IT Holding dropping14.4 percent in trading in Milan. However, in London, Marks & Spencer movedup 6.6 percent.
For more, see Thursday’s issue of WWD.

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