U.S. retail stocks perked up 0.7 percent today as March same-store sales showed gains, but the market continued to slide as economic worries lingered from earlier in the week and investors looked ahead to Friday’s employment report.

 

The S&P Retail Index rose 4.19 points to 624.72, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 14.61 points to 13,060.14. Fashion’s gainers included Ross Stores Inc., up 2.5 percent to $59.81; The TJX Cos. Inc., 2.4 percent to $40.29; Lululemon Athletica Inc., 2.3 percent to $77.06, and Ralph Lauren Corp., 2.3 percent to $178.06.

 

Economists project the U.S. added 222,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate held steady at 8.3 percent.

 

Europe’s markets put in a mixed performance, ahead of public holidays, with fashion stocks mostly gaining.

 

The DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.1 percent to 6,775.26, while the FTSE MIB in Milan dipped 0.2 percent to 15,216.02. But the CAC 40 in Paris ended the day up a modest 0.2 percent to 3,319.81 while the FTSE 100 in London finished up 0.4 percent to 5,723.67. Mining stocks, including Glencore International, Petrofac and Xstrata, led the rises in London.

 

Rising in the fashion world were Hugo Boss, up 3.6 percent to 86.81 euros; Ferragamo, which climbed 3.3 percent to 16.08 euros; Swatch Group, which rose 2.4 percent to 73.90, Swiss Francs and Safilo Group, which increased 2.6 percent to 4.87 euros. The pound traded for $1.58 Thursday, while the euro traded for $1.31 and the Swiss franc traded for $1.09.

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