Stocks clawed their way to gains even as crude oil futures gave back some of the gains recorded in recent days.
The WWD Global Stock Tracker shared in the advance, rising 1.1 percent to 111.66, barely eclipsing its 111.63 close on Jan. 26 for its highest close ever.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Developed reported that oil stockpiles might reach record levels by midyear, sending crude oil prices down for the first time in four trading days. A barrel of U.S. crude fell 5.4 percent to $50.02 after falling below $50.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 139.55 points, or 0.8 percent, to end the session at 17,868.76 as the S&P 500 advanced 21.85 points, or 1.1 percent, to close at 2,068.59. The S&P’s retail component, the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group, rallied 13.65 points, or 1.3 percent, to 1,080.43.
Despite continuing uncertainty about Greece’s debt, most European markets ended the day ahead, with the FTSE MIB in Milan gaining the most, up 1.8percent to 20,725.63. The CAC 40 in Paris was up 1 percent to 4,695.65 and the DAX in Frankfurt up 0.9 percent to 10,753.83, but London’s FTSE 100 slid 0.1 percent to 6,829.12.
Among the biggest moves in retail stocks came from companies not included in the tracker sample. Aéropostale Inc. added one-sixth to its market capitalization as shares advanced 16.7 percent to $3.08 after it lifted its fourth-quarter earnings guidance late Monday, promoted Marc Miller to executive vice president and chief operating officer and hired David Dick, former chief financial officer of the now bankrupt Delia’s, to succeed Miller as cfo.
Heading in the opposite direction, Blue Nile Inc. shares dropped 10.5 percent to $28.12 after it missed analysts’ earnings estimates for its fourth-quarter sales and earnings.
Advances and declines among tracker stocks were less dramatic. Leading the pack among those advancing was Marks and Spencer Group plc, up 4.8 percent to 4.99 pounds, or $7.59 at current exchange, followed by Elizabeth Arden Inc.’s 4.3 percent expansion to $15.93.
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton shares were up 3.7 percent to 156.15 euros, or $176.83, while Salvatore Ferragamo Italia SpA moved ahead 3.6 percent to 26.64 euros, or $30.17. American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and G-III Apparel Group Ltd. shares both advanced 3.2 percent to $14.97 and $100.78, respectively.
The sharpest decline belonged to Quiksilver Inc., with shares off 5.4 percent to $2.30, followed by Luen Thai Holdings Ltd.’s 4.1 percent drop to 1.42 Hong Kong dollars, or 18 cents.
Hugo Boss AG shares dropped 2.4 percent to 106.95 euros, or $121.12, after Permira, its largest shareholder, trimmed its holdings in Boss to about 14 percent of the total from 32 percent. Samsonite International SA shares were down 2.4 percent to 22.65 Hong Kong dollars, or $2.92, while Prada SpA pulled back 2.3 percent to 43.30 Hong Kong dollars, or $5.58.