U.S. retail stocks held steady during a modestly down trading session on Wall Street today.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group closed at 896.6 — just as it did on Monday — and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2 percent, or 2.43 points, to 15,750.67.

Stocks remain near record highs and the retail index is up 37 percent this year, versus the Dow’s 20 percent gain.

Among the gainers today were Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., up 3.5 percent to $50.26, and The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., ahead 2.4 percent to $47.08. Men’s Wearhouse’s largest shareholder, Eminence Capital LLC, said the retailer was open to strategic alternatives, including a possible merger with Bank. That’s an idea that Men’s Wearhouse has shot down in the past.

In Europe, markets were also edging south.

The CAC 40 in Paris lost the most ground, dipping 0.6 percent to 4,263.78, followed by the FTSE MIB in Milan, 0.5 percent to 19,005.02, and the DAX in Frankfurt, 0.3 percent to 9,076.48.

The FTSE 100 in London was broadly flat, closing down 0.02 percent to 6,726.79.

The euro traded at $1.34, while the pound fetched $1.60 and the Swiss franc went for $1.09.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the day’s biggest decliners including Burberry Group, down 1.6 percent to 14.88 pounds; Geox, 1.9 percent to 2.07 euros; Metro AG, 1.8 percent to 33.01 euros; Mulberry Group, 1.1 percent to 10.40 pounds; Safilo Group, 1.4 percent to 14.43 euros, and The Swatch Group, 1.1 percent to 98.65 Swiss francs.

Among the few stocks that gained ground were Asos.com, up 1.7 percent to 57.83 pounds; Brunello Cucinelli, 1.2 percent to 23.94 euros, and Carrefour SA, 1.6 percent to 27.40 euros.

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