By  on July 14, 2009

Optimism about Goldman Sachs and other finance firms overcame jitters about CIT Group Monday, sending the major indices sharply higher and retail stocks up even more.

The S&P Retail Index closed at 317.86, up 8.24, or 2.7 percent, as gainers outpaced decliners by a wide margin. The strength of retail stocks was even more impressive than that of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, which tacked on 2.3 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively. The Dow added 185.16 points to close at 8,331.68, and the S&P gained 21.92 to 901.05 as investors found cause for optimism in the arrival later this week of second-quarter earnings from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and other banking and finance stocks, even against the background of CIT’s struggle to meet debt maturities.

For retail, fashion and beauty firms, drops were few, an encouraging start to a week that followed one with a small gain for the S&P Retail Index and a decline for retail stocks last Friday.

The day was kind to men’s wear retailers, with The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. pacing the class with a $1.03, or 6 percent, gain to $18.14. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. grew $1.39, or 4.3 percent, to close at $33.83, while Casual Male Retail Group Inc. added 6 cents, or 3.8 percent, to close at $1.65.

Shares of Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. registered a double-digit advance, leaping 62 cents, or 10.9 percent, to $6.31.

Several vendors with roots in activewear made or just missed WWD’s list of strongest performers for Monday, too. Under Armour Inc.’s stock rose $1.34, or 6.6 percent, to $21.76, while Lululemon Athletica Inc.’s grew 77 cents, or 6.5 percent, to $12.59, and Quiksilver Corp.’s tacked on 10 cents, or 6.5 percent, to close at $1.64. True Religion Apparel Inc. added $1.22, or 6.2 percent, to close at $20.86.

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