Retail stocks had a relatively mild day Thursday, but Limited Brands Inc. added a bit of spice to the trading mix.

 

Shares of Limited inched up only 1.7 percent to $29.43, but the number of shares trading hands skyrocketed to 12.8 million shares—more than triple the 4.1 million shares usually traded.

 

A market source said the increase in volume came from eight million shares worth of block trades, indicating that a large investor might be unloading their stake.

 

For now, there’s no telling who’s buying. Many investors don’t have to disclose their holdings in a company until they acquire 5 percent of the shares outstanding. In Limited’s case, that would be about 16 million shares.

 

The Columbus, Ohio-based Limited, which operates Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel and other chains, is led by chairman and chief executive officer Leslie H. Wexner.

 

The S&P Retail Index rose 0.2 percent, or 1.07 points, to close at 502.78 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average sank 0.2 percent, or 23.54 points, to 11,731.90.

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