Greece’s efforts to get a break from its bondholders appeared to be gaining traction today, helping markets recover from Tuesday’s losses.
On Wall Street, the S&P Retail Index more than made up the 5.83 points it lost in the previous session and rose 1.3 percent, or 7.76 points, to 588.26. The index hit a new high of 589.34 in midday trading.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased a more modest 0.6 percent, or 78.18 points, to 12,837.33.
Shares of The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. shot up 33 percent to $6.98 as its new chief executive officer, Brendan Hoffman, sounded an optimistic tone despite declining fourth-quarter profits. Also rising, although not as dramatically, were American Eagle Outfitters, 6.3 percent to $15.54; The Jones Group Inc., 5.7 percent to $10.18, Aéropostale Inc., 4.9 percent to $19.04, and Lululemon Athletica Inc., 4 percent to $68.67.
Europe’s markets ended the day on a high note, as Greece saw more private investors willing to make a controversial debt swap.
The FTSE MIB in Milan increased 1.1 percent to 16,398.89, while the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.9 percent to 3,392.33. The DAX in Frankfurt edged up 0.6 percent to 6,671.11 and the FTSE 100 in London advanced 0.4 percent to 5,791.41.
Among the gainers in the retail and luxury sectors were Burberry Group, up 3.2 percent to 14.37 pounds; French Connection, 7 percent to 0.55 pounds; Hermès International, 1.6 percent to 278 euros, and Tod’s, 2.1 percent to 76.65 euros.
Italian eyewear stocks didn’t fare as well with Marcolin down 2.2 percent to 3.76 euros and Safilo Group falling 3.2 percent to 5.23 euros.
The euro traded at $1.32, while the pound traded at $1.58.
According to the BBC, 39.3 percent of bondholders have agreed to a debt swap that would see them taking a haircut of more than 50 percent on the Greek government bonds they currently hold. Greece has until Thursday evening to convince a minimum 75 percent of its bondholders to agree to a new deal.
The future of Greece in the Euro zone hangs on the debt swap deal. If Greece cannot convince enough investors to write down their debts, the country will not be able to secure the latest tranche of bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.