By  on March 30, 2010

Shares of The Talbots Inc. shot up 13.2 percent Monday after the company extended the deadline of a warrant exchange offer that needs to be completed before the firm can rejigger its balance sheet through a merger with BPW Acquisition Corp.

About 87.5 percent of the BPW warrants were submitted to be exchanged for Talbots stock as of the initial deadline Friday. At least 90 percent of the warrants need to be tendered for the merger to go forward.

The warrants were issued when BPW, a blank check company formed to hunt for a business combination, went public. The new deadline for the exchange offer was set for 6 p.m. Monday and passed without comment from Talbots, as of press time.

Investors and analysts appeared confident the deal would go through and Talbots’ stock came to rest at $12.99, just shy of the retailer’s Feb. 2 high of $13.43.

Of the 172 stocks tracked by WWD, Talbots had the day’s strongest run.

On the other end of the spectrum was American Apparel Inc., which fell 6.3 percent to $2.97 and posted the day’s weakest performance. Investors continued to digest the firm’s 21.5 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings Thursday. The stock has lost 22.7 percent of its value over the last two trading sessions.

The retail market was relatively sedate overall, however.

The S&P Retail Index dipped 0.3 percent, or 1.13 points, to 453.06. Personal consumption expenditures rose 0.3 percent from January to February, according to a Commerce Department report that was in-line with economists’ expectations. Personal incomes were flat for the month.

Consumer spending makes up more than two-thirds of the economy and has been constrained by the weak job market. Economists expect that dynamic might be changing and are predicting that Friday’s employment report from the Labor Department will show 200,000 new jobs were added last month.

Even if that rate were to continue, it would be a slow climb back for the American workforce, which has shed more than 8.4 million jobs since December 2007.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4 percent, or 45.50 points, to close at 10,895.86 on Monday.

Asian investors pushed the SSE Composite Index up 2.1 percent to 3,123.80 in Shanghai, while the Hang Seng Index rose 0.9 percent to 21,237.43 in Hong Kong. The Nikkei 225 dipped 0.1 percent to 10,986.47 in Tokyo.

European issues were on the rise, with the CAC 40 up 0.3 percent to 4,000.66 in Paris and the FTSE 100 ahead 0.1 percent to 5,710.66.

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