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Retail Stocks Up 0.6%

J.C. Penney shares bounce back from recent declines, add 9.2%.

Retail stocks came back from an extended weekend with gains beyond those of the major indices.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 0.6 percent to end the day at 872.96, outpacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which gained 0.3 percent to 16,449.25, and the S&P 500, ahead 0.4 percent to 1,871.89. The S&P 500 and its retail subset enjoyed their fifth consecutive session of gains as Wall Street prepared for earnings reports, including VF Corp.’s first-quarter numbers on Friday.

The Conference Board reported its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.8 percent in March, following gains of 0.5 and 0.2 percent in February and January, respectively.

Trading in the U.S. resumed after a three-day hiatus beginning on Good Friday but markets in Europe remained closed Monday.

Among U.S.-based retail, fashion and beauty firms tracked by WWD, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. registered the day’s largest increase, picking up 9.2 percent to rise to $8.19, its first close above $8 since April 10, the day before it slid 9.6 percent to close at $7.70.  American Apparel Inc. was up 8.5 percent to 54 cents while Revlon Inc. shares gained 6 percent to $28.15.

Lands’ End Inc. shares rose 4.8 percent to $27.36 while former parent Sears Holdings Corp. was up 3.3 percent to $39.60.

Shares of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. were up 0.8 percent to $90.68. After the markets closed, Lone Pine Capital LLC, the Greenwich, Conn.-based fund headed by Stephen Mandel, disclosed that it owned 11.3 million shares of Kors stock, or 5.5 percent of those outstanding. Lone Pine also has sizable positions in Gap Inc. and Dollar General Corp. It reported a 6.1 million share stake, or 3 percent of the total, in February.

Among a number of stocks losing ground were Birks Group Inc., down 5.9 percent to $1.17; Lululemon Athletica Inc., off 5.1 percent to $48.07, and specialty retailer Cache Inc., which fell 3.4 percent to $3.12.