Retail stocks dipped today as investors kept an anxious eye on a meeting of European leaders and higher borrowing costs in Spain and Italy. Spain’s 10-year bond yields rose to 7.1 percent, while Italy’s increased to 6.1 percent.
Finance ministers from the 17 euro zone countries met in Brussels to again attempt to chart a way out of Europe’s financial crisis. Ministers from the 27 European Union countries will meet on Tuesday.
On Wall Street, the S&P Retail Index fell 0.4 percent, or 2.34 points, to 615.93, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 0.3 percent, or 36.18 points, to 12,736.29.
Among the decliners were Sears Holdings Corp., down 4.4 percent to $58.34; Perry Ellis International Inc., 3.5 percent to $20.14; PVH Corp., 2.6 percent to $77.59; Ascena Retail Group Inc., 2.6 percent to $18.08, and Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 2.1 percent to $42.62.
The economy has been tilting against the consumer lately, but a Federal Reserve report today showed that shoppers in May remained confident enough to ramp up their borrowing. Consumer credit grew at an annual rate of 8 percent in May — the sharpest gain this year.
The stock declines were, in part, a reflection of trends in Europe earlier. The FTSE 100 in London fell 0.6 percent to 5,627.33, while the CAC 40 in Paris closed down 0.4 percent to 3,156.80 and the DAX in Frankfurt fell 0.4 percent to 6,387.57. The FTSE MIB in Milan managed to gain 0.6 percent to 13,812.65.
Losing ground for the day were Metro, down 6.3 percent to 20.43 euros; Mulberry, 5.7 percent to 13.85 pounds; Carrefour, 3.3 percent to 13.06 euros, and Richemont, 3.3 percent to 51.20 Swiss francs.
The few stocks that rose included Yoox, up 0.5 percent to 11.13 euros, and Marks & Spencer, 0.9 percent to 3.21 pounds.
The pound traded for $1.54 against the dollar, while the euro traded for $1.22 and the Swiss franc for $1.02.