By  on August 7, 2009

Investors shrugged off July’s weak same-store sales results and instead focused on encouraging news about jobs and earnings, sending the S&P Retail Index up 5.1 percent last week.

The advance to the highest closing level this year — 372.70 — put retail stocks 33.5 percent ahead since New Year’s Day and even slightly ahead of their year-ago level of 359.64. Of 173 apparel, retail and beauty firms tracked by WWD, 129 firms registered increases last week while 32 were down and 12 were flat. The week before, there were 118 advancers, 53 decliners and four unchanged issues.

The retail index outperformed the major indices by a substantial margin last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved ahead 2.2 percent to 9,370.07, 6.8 percent above its 2009 starting point. The S&P 500 closed at a 10-month high of 1,010.48, up 2.3 percent for the week and 11.9 percent for the calendar year. The Nasdaq Composite ended the week a fraction above the 2,000 mark, 1.1 percent better than on July 31 and 26.8 percent higher than its resting point at the conclusion of 2008.

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