Retail stocks eked out a gain in what was a quiet day on Wall Street.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group inched up 0.1 percent, or 1.03 points, to 843.71, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped just 5.83 points to 15,419.68. Both indices remain relatively close to their all-time highs and have gained as the U.S. economic recovery found firmer footing. Retail stocks are up 29.2 percent this year.
Today’s gainers included Nordstrom Inc., up 3.4 percent to $60.79; Sears Holdings Corp., 2.6 percent to $42.43, and J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 2.3 percent to $13.17.
Trading in Penney’s stock was heavy with 30.6 million shares trading hands, well ahead of the 11.1 million daily average for the past three months. Activist investor William Ackman has been pressuring other members of the retailer’s board to move more quickly to name a successor to chief executive officer Myron “Mike” Ullman 3rd.
In Europe, markets closed with mixed results.
The FTSE 100 in London and the CAC 40 in Paris both dropped 0.1 percent, to 6,574.34 and 4,071.68, respectively, while the FTSE MIB in Milan rose 0.4 percent to 17,262.86 and Frankfurt’s DAX inched up 0.3 percent to 8,359.25.
The pound traded at $1.51 against the dollar and the euro was worth $1.31.
Among the gainers were Tod’s, up 2.5 percent to 140.70 euros, as well as Mulberry and Brunello Cucinelli, which both gained 1.5 percent, to 10.22 pounds and 22.15 euros, respectively.
Losing ground were Marks & Spencer, down 1.2 percent to 4.71 pounds, and Unilever, off 1 percent to 29.52 euros.