Investors poured dollars into U.S. retail stocks after Black Friday sales and traffic signaled a strong start to the holiday selling season.
The S&P Retail Index shot up 3.1 percent, or 15.5 points, to 515.87, the sector’s best showing since late October. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.6 percent, or 291.23 points, to 11,523.01, picking up momentum from European markets, which were also on the rise.
The gainers included Zale Corp., up 13.6 percent to $3.51; Jones Apparel Group Inc., 6.6 percent to $10.20; Guess Inc., 6 percent to $27.87; Macy’s Inc., 4.7 percent to $30.84; American Eagle Outfitters Inc., 5.1 percent to $13.55, and Saks Inc., 5 percent to $8.91.
European markets surged on hopes that Euro zone leaders will be able to work up a plan to draw the region closer together financially and end the debt crisis. France and Germany are expected to outline a plan setting debt limits for countries in the currency bloc next month.
The CAC 40 in Paris led the upswing, closing up 5.5 percent to 3,012.93, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, which rose 4.6 percent to 5,745.33. The FTSE MIB in Milan also climbed 4.6 percent to 14,578.23, while the FTSE 100 in London advanced 2.9 percent to 5,312.76.
Most retail and luxury stocks rose with the markets, with the exception of Mulberry Group, which tumbled 2.4 percent to 13.37 pounds. The day’s biggest gainers included Benetton Group, which rose 6.7 percent to 3.41 euros; Carrefour, which increased 9.2 percent to 18.90 euros, and Geox, which advanced 6.4 percent to 2.38 euros.
The euro slipped 0.1 percent against the dollar to $1.33 while the pound inched up 0.1 percent to $1.55.