After three days in the bribery-scandal dog house, shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rose 2.8 percent on Wall Street today.
The stock perked up $1.59 to $58.95, but is still well behind the $62.45 it closed at last week, before the discounter found itself fending off allegations that its Mexican expansion was aided by a series of bribes that top executives later brushed off.
The retailer’s gain helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which closed up 0.9 percent, or 113.90 points, to 13,204.62. The S&P Retail Index, which does not include Wal-Mart, also rose 0.9 percent, or 5.63 points, to 627.86.
Liz Claiborne Inc. was one of the strongest stocks of the day, increasing 9.5 percent to $13.88 after the company topped sales expectations and narrowed its first-quarter losses.
The other gainers included Michael Kors Holdings, up 4.2 percent to $44.36; Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 3.2 percent to $50.49; Maidenform Brands Inc., 3.2 percent to $23.45; VF Corp., 3.2 percent to $154, and American Eagle Outfitters 2.5 percent to $18.24. Both VF and American Eagle registered new 52-week highs in intraday trading.
In Europe, stocks were mixed with the CAC 40 in Paris and the FTSE MIB in Milan falling while London’s FTSE 100 and Frankfurt’s DAX gained modestly.
The Italian market tumbled 0.7 percent to 14,509.96, while the French one sank 0.1 percent to close at 3,229.32. The British and German markets each rose 0.5 percent, to 5,748.72 and 6,739.90, respectively.
Shares of Unilever climbed 2.9 percent to 26.34 euros after the firm posted an 11.9 percent rise in first quarter sales to 12.1 billion euros, or $16 billion.
Hermès International gained 2.9 percent to close at 265.25 euros, while PPR was up 4.9 percent to 125.50 euros, following a 15.4 rise in first quarter revenues reported earlier this week.
Among the stocks that lost ground were Asos.com, which tumbled 9.3 percent to 14.48 pounds despite a 33 percent rise in revenues to 127 million pounds. Hugo Boss fell 6 percent to 84 euros, despite posting double-digit sales and profit gains in the first quarter.
The euro traded at $1.32 while the pound traded at $1.61.