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U.S. Stocks Retreat

Equity markets pulled back slightly in the first trading day in the second quarter due in part to weaker-than-expected manufacturing data.

The U.S. equity markets pulled back slightly in the first trading day in the second quarter, due in part to weaker-than-expected manufacturing data that suggested perhaps a slowing in the economy at the end of the first quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.04 percent to 14,572.85, while the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group inched down 0.6 percent to 722.07.

Among the retail stocks that lost ground were American Apparel Inc., down 5.5 percent to $2.05; Cache Inc., falling 4 percent to $4.05, and Rue 21, losing 3.6 percent to $28.32.

Shares of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. fell 2.1 percent to $14.80, while Kohl’s Corp. declined 1.3 percent to $45.54.

Urban Outfitters lost 0.9 percent to $38.41 during the session, but ticked up 4.1 percent to $39.99 in after hours trading. The firm, in its regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday regarding its annual report, or Form 10-K, said its comparable retail segment net sales are trending in the “high single-digits” so far in its first quarter.

Richard Jaffe, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, said, “We believe sales are up 7 percent to 9 percent at Urban.”

Jaffe added that the early results “supports our belief that Urban is offering the consumer trend-right, appealing apparel and bodes well for near-term results.”

The European markets were closed for Easter Monday.