Investors didn’t have a lot of conviction about today’s stock market “recovery”. At one point the Dow Jones Industrial Index was up over 400 points, but then reversed course late in the day, and closed down 205 points, or 1.3 percent, to 15,665.

Many traders opted to sell and stay on the sidelines as China continues to surprise investors each night. The S&P 500 closed down 1.4 percent to 1,867 while the Nasdaq finished the day down 0.4 percent to 4,506.

The declines appeared to be profit-taking, and many retail stocks survived the selloff and showed gains of between 1 and 3 percent. Some notable gainers included Pacific Sunwear of California, which rose 28 percent to close at 60 cents. Bon-Ton Stores Inc. finished the day up 9.7 percent to $3.27 while Quiksilver Inc. increased 6.1 percent to 47 cents.

Other gainers included Aeropostale Inc., which closed up 8.5 percent to $1.28. Sears Holdings Corp. rose 5.8 percent to $23.25.

Still, the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group index declined, but not as steep as the Dow or parent S&P 500. The index closed with a 0.3 percent decline to 1,126.

On the declining side, shares of DSW got slammed dropping over 11 percent to close at $27.35 after disappointing investors with second quarter earnings. The shoe retailer reported 42 cents per share in earnings, which was inline with estimates, but sales were only $627 million, shy of the consensus estimate of $637 million. DSW’s traffic decreased by 1 percent and transactions were flat. DSW had more customers buying shoes with a regular price and less clearance priced sales. However, it was the loss of those discounted sales hurt the comps from the first quarter to the second quarter. Like other retailers, handbag sales were weak, but athletic trends remain strong.

The Children’s Place may have missed estimates for sales, but its positive comments about August traffic and back-to-school helped propel the stock higher. The Children’s Place stock moved up 1.7 percent to close at $58.16. Chief executive officer Jane Elfers said that company had positive comps for the first 3 weeks in August.

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