Investors shrugged off September’s weaker-than-expected job gains and nudged retail stocks up to new highs on Wall Street today.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group inched up 0.3 percent, or 2.84 points, to 868.75 — a new record close for the index. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5 percent, or 75.46 points, to 15,467.66.
Rising with the market were J.C. Penney Co. Inc., up 2 percent to $6.55; Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 2 percent to $78.70; Amazon.com Inc., 1.9 percent to $332.54; The Procter & Gamble Co. 1.8 percent to $80.38, and Ralph Lauren Corp., 1.8 percent to $166.53.
Coach Inc., however, fell 7.5 percent to $50.10 after the company weighed in with a 1.6 percent dip in first-quarter profits and a 0.9 percent decline in sales.
On the broader scene, the Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs last month. Economists had been looking for gains of 180,000 from the report — which was delayed by more than two weeks by the federal government shutdown. The impact of the shutdown will show up in the October report due out early next month.
The luke warm job gains gave some investors confidence that the Federal Reserve would wait a little longer to cut back on its easy money policies.
In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 and Milan’s FTSE MIB both gained 0.6 percent, to 6,695.60 and 19,371.93, respectively, the DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.9 percent 8,947.46 and Paris’ CAC 40 gained 0.4 percent to 4,295.43.
The euro traded at $1.37 against the dollar while the pound fetched $1.62.
Retail and luxury stocks echoed the upswing, with most shares making advances. Among the stocks gaining the most ground were Mulberry, up 3 percent to 10.31 pounds; Tod’s, 2.3 percent to 127.80 euros, and Kering, 2.1 percent to 175.15 euros.