Retail stocks shrugged off the U.S. government shutdown and gained ground on Wall Street today.

The S&P 500 Retail Industry group increased 1.4 percent, or 11.73 points, to 858.97, outpacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which increased 0.4 percent, or 62.03 points, to 15,191.70.

The day’s gainers included Sears Holdings Corp., up 7.2 percent to $63.76; Under Armour Inc., 4.1 percent to $82.69; Inc., 2.7 percent to $320.95; Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 1.8 percent to $75.85, and Ann Inc., 1.7 percent to $36.85.

Non-essential U.S. government offices began to shut down today after Congress did not raise the debt ceiling in a bid by some conservatives to derail parts of President Obama’s healthcare overhaul.

It is unclear how long the impasse will last or what its ultimate economic toll will be.

In Europe, where investors are also gauging the uncertain future of the Italian government, markets rallied after a report showed that manufacturing activity in the euro area expanded for a third month in September.

In Italy, Prime Minister Enrico Letta asked parliament for a confidence vote to back his government coalition after Silvio Berlusconi removed five ministers over the weekend. Letta, whose government is attempting to push through unpopular austerity measures, has threatened to resign if he loses the vote.

The FTSE MIB in Milan grew 3.1 percent to 17,977.06, as Paris’ CAC 40 increased 1.3 percent to 4,196.60 and Frankfurt’s DAX grew 1.1 percent to 8,689.14. The FTSE 100 in London was flat at 6,460.01.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the day’s biggest climbers including LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, up 1.7 percent to 148.05 euros; Compagnie Financière Richemont and Ferragamo, each of which rose 1.6 percent, to 92 Swiss francs and 25.90 euros, respectively, and Burberry, 1.4 percent to 16.57 pounds.

The pound traded at $1.62 against the dollar, while the euro fetched $1.35 and the Swiss franc went for $1.10.

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