Retail shares got clipped Monday as Wall Street fell hard on renewed anxiety about the financial sector and oil supplies. The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index dropped 6.81 points, or 1.9 percent, to 342.05. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dove 239.61 points, or 2.1 percent, to 11,131.08. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 23.39 points, or 1.9 percent, to 1,234.37. The declines came as investors again shied away from the fi nancial sector, which had posted a solid rebound last week. New housing and credit fears seemed the most likely culprits, after the disclosure on Friday that the FDIC took over two regional banks operating in California, Nevada and Arizona. The price of oil, meanwhile, rose to $123.36 a barrel after a prolonged fade, raising even more caution with investors. On the retail end, Hot Topic Inc. felt the most pain among specialty stores, sliding 6.7 percent to $5.89. Citi Trends Inc. dropped 5.6 percent to $21.79. The missy category was particularly hurt with Chico’s FAS Inc. declining 5.7 percent to $5.47. Caché Inc. fell 4 percent to $13.90. Christopher & Banks Corp. fell 3.3 percent to $7.88. Among broadline retailers, Sears Holdings Corp. led the department store decliners, dropping 6.4 percent to $75.80. Dillard’s Inc. retreated 4.8 percent to $9.63. Stage Stores Inc. fell 3.1 percent to $14.10. Off-pricer Stein Mart Inc. fell 3.2 percent to $4.25. Vendors also felt the sting with Joe’s Jeans Inc. down 9.1 percent to $1.29, Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. decreasing 9 percent to $13.09 and Volcom Inc. losing 8.3 percent to $17.10. G-III Apparel Group Ltd. dropped 7.1 percent to $15.47. Quiksilver Corp. fell 7.4 percent to $7.35. One of the day’s few bright spots was Mothers Work Inc. Shares of the maternity retailer, which announced the appointment of Judd Tirnauer to chief fi nancial officer last week, climbed 8.1 percent to $13. The week could prove volatile with the kickoff of the retail earnings season. The government is set to release preliminary numbers on second-quarter growth, as well as new labor statistics, on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
This story first appeared in the July 29, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.