Retail stocks inched back toward their all-time high even with large swathes of the federal government closed for a second day.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.4 percent, or 3.32 points, to 862.29 — with the index trading as high as 862.80, near its Sept. 20 high of 864.31. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.4 percent, or 58.56 points, to 15,133.14.
Joining in, and leading the way in fashion, was Burlington Stores Inc., which went public at $17 a share and immediately shot up 47.1 percent to $25.01.
Also gaining were Rue21 Inc., up 3.8 percent to $40.99; Guess Inc., 2.1 percent to $30.50; PVH Corp., 2 percent to $117.55; Nordstrom Inc., 1.5 percent to $56.80, and Sears Holdings Corp., 1.3 percent to $64.56.
As many as 800,000 federal employees didn’t work and much of government was closed for the second day today — the first government shut down in the U.S. in 17 years. President Obama’s Affordable Care healthcare act is the sticking point in negotiations with conservatives in Congress.
In Europe, most markets fell even as the European Central Bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5 percent, as expected, and Italy’s prime minister Enrico Letta won a confidence vote. Former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi said in a debate that he would support Letta.
The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.9 percent to 4,158.16, as Frankfurt’s DAX dropped 0.7 percent to 8,629.42, and London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.4 percent to 6,437.50. Milan’s FTSE MIB was up 0.7 percent to 18,098.44.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the day’s biggest decliners including Yoox.com, down 2.8 percent to 24.30 euros and Asos.com, off 2.1 percent to 50.13 pounds. Kering and Hennes & Mauritz both lost 2 percent, falling to 164.85 euros and 274.80 Swedish krona, respectively.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton fell by 2.2 percent to 144.75 euros after it said Marc Jacobs would be leaving Louis Vuitton to focus on a public offering for his eponymous brand.
The pound traded at $1.62 against the dollar, while the euro was worth $1.35 and the Swedish krona 16 cents.