U.S. retail stocks easily outpaced the major indices as equity trading slowed for the Veterans Day holiday today.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group advanced 0.9 percent to end the day at 896.60, a more robust performance than the 0.1 percent gains logged by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500, which closed at 15,783.10 and 1,771.89, respectively. Despite the small gain, the Dow’s close set another record high.

The largest gain among retail, apparel and beauty stocks tracked by WWD came from Sears Holdings Corp., which advanced 5.7 percent to $59.98. Early in the day, Sears Canada said it had reached an agreement to sell its interest in eight retail properties it co-owns with The Westcliff Group of Companies to Montez Income Properties Corp. for 315 Canadian dollars, or about $316 million at current exchange.  

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. shares grew 4 percent to $8.56, the company’s third consecutive daily gain since it reported a 0.9 percent rise in October comparable-store sales last week. Penney’s stock has gained 11.2 percent since it unveiled the comp gain.

Fashion’s decliners, which were outnumbered by advancers by better than a two-to-one margin, included Vera Bradley Inc., down 2.2 percent to $24.45, and American Apparel Inc., off 1.7 percent to $1.18.

In Europe, markets registered modest gains for the day.

The FTSE 100 in London and the DAX in Frankfurt were both up 0.3 percent, to 6,728.37 and 9,107.86, respectively, while the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.7 percent to 4,290.14 and the FTSE MIB in Milan rose 0.8 percent 19,107.85.

The euro traded at $1.34, while the pound fetched $1.60, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.08.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the day’s biggest gainers including Asos.com, up 2.5 percent to 57.97 pounds; Safilo Group, 2.2 percent to 14.63 euros, and The Swatch Group, 1.7 percent to 99.70 Swiss francs.

Among the stocks that lost ground were Yoox.com, down 1.3 percent 28 euros, and Mulberry Group, 1 percent to 10.51 pounds.

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