By and  on April 7, 2010

Retail stocks continued their march upward, rising 0.6 percent Tuesday and hitting a new 52-week high.

The S&P Retail Index increased 2.58 points to 460.45 and at one point rose as high as 460.97. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 3.56 points to close at 10,969.99. Blue Chip stocks flirted briefly with 11,000, a mark they temporarily surpassed Monday, but couldn’t sustain the momentum to break through.

International markets were mostly on the rise, with the FTSE 100 ahead 0.6 percent to 5,780.35 in London, the CAC 40 up 0.5 percent to 4,053.94 in Paris, the SSE Composite Index rising 0.02 percent to 3,158.68 in Shanghai and the Hang Seng Index advancing 1.4 percent to 21,537.00 in Hong Kong. Running counter to trend, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.5 percent to 11,282.32 in Tokyo.

• Seventh Time the Talbots’ Charm?: The Talbots Inc. extended the deadline on a warrant exchange offer for a seventh time Tuesday. As of the previous deadline on Monday, 87.5 percent of the warrants issued when BPW Acquisition Corp. went public had been tendered. Ninety percent of the warrants need to be submitted for Talbots’ merger with BPW to be completed.

Trudy Sullivan, Talbots’ president and chief executive officer, tried to rally support for the plan.

“I would like to strongly urge all BPW warrantholders who have not already tendered, to tender into the exchange offer before today’s 6 p.m. deadline in order to permit this important transaction to proceed,” said Sullivan Tuesday. “I am aware that the vast majority of BPW warrantholders have been consistently supportive of this transaction since the commencement of the exchange offer, and I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all such holders.”

Shares of Talbots fell 3.7 percent to $13.21.

• Off-price Paying Dividends: The TJX Cos. Inc. boosted its quarterly dividend by 25 percent to 15 cents a share, payable June 3 to shareholders of record as of May 13.

“In addition to the dividend increase, we continue to expect to repurchase between $900 million and $1 billion of TJX stock in 2010,” said Carol Meyrowitz, president and ceo, noting the firm’s cash flow allowed such paybacks to shareholders. The company also expects to end this year with more than $1 billion in cash.

Shares of the off-pricer inched up 0.8 percent to $44.70.

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