Markets muddled by today, closing with minor losses after investors mostly shrugged off J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s surprise $2 billion trading loss and concerns about growth in the Chinese economy.
Stocks in general had a tough week as investors worried again about the stability of the euro zone following political upheaval in France and Greece.
But in Little Rock, things were looking brighter. Dillard’s Inc., which posted a 23.9 percent gain in first-quarter profits late Thursday, saw its stock gain 6.4 percent to $70.43, the department store’s best close ever.
The S&P Retail Index slipped 0.2 percent, or 1.52 points, to 625.64, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.3 percent, or 34.44 percent, to 12,820.60.
Also declining for the day were The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., down 6.2 percent to $4.87; Nordstrom Inc., down 4.8 percent to $50.96 after the retailer fell short of Wall Street’s first-quarter earnings expectations; Avon Products Inc., 3.4 percent to $20.19 — which is still mulling over a bid from Coty, Inc., that is partially backed by Warren Buffett — and Elizabeth Arden Inc., 2.5 percent to $35.88.
The only European market that fell was the CAC 40 in Paris, following a projection this week by the Bank of France of zero growth for the first six months of the year.
The DAX in Frankfurt rose 1 percent to close at 6,579.93, followed by the FTSE 100, which was up 0.6 percent to 5,575.52. The FTSE MIB in Milan advanced 0.3 percent to 14,045.35.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up. Brunello Cucinelli rose 2.3 percent to close at 10.74 euros, following a 36 percent rise in net profits this week; Inditex was up 1.4 percent to 68.68 euros; Marks & Spencer Group advanced 3.5 percent to 3.60 pounds, and Yoox gained 3.4 percent to 10.50 euros.
Among the stocks that lost ground were Geox, which fell 3.6 percent to 1.93 euros following a 4.3 percent drop in first-quarter net profit, and Arcandor, which was down 3.6 percent to 0.03 euros.
The euro traded at $1.29 while the pound went for $1.61.