Retail stocks gained 3 percent Friday as orders for durable goods hinted at a somewhat more confident corporate America.
The S&P Retail Index perked up 13.37 points to 460.61, rounding out a 5 percent gain for the week. Among the retail winners on Friday were The Talbots Inc., up 10.7 percent to $12.06; Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., 8.9 percent to $4.92; The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., 8.9 percent to $8.72; AnnTaylor Stores Corp., 7.5 percent to $20.24; Sears Holdings Corp., 5.9 percent to $75.13, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 5.6 percent to $38.79.
Last week’s advance left retail stocks up 12 percent for the year.
Of 171 equities tracked by WWD, 123 were up last week and 43 down, while five were unchanged.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average stepped up 1.9 percent, or 197.84 points, to 10,860.26 Friday, making a 2.4 percent gain for the week. On Friday, the Commerce Department said durable goods orders, outside of the transportation sector, rose 2 percent last month.
Increased orders for machinery, computers and communication equipment demonstrated companies’ willingness to spend that could eventually lead to more hiring, lower unemployment and a broader recovery in the economy, helping to ease fears of a double-dip recession and lifting the equity markets.
European markets also posted gains for the week with the CAC 40 in Paris and the FTSE 100 in London both increasing 1.6 percent. Asian investors were feeling more cautious for the week and pushed the Hang Seng Index up a lesser 0.7 percent in Hong Kong as the Nikkei 225 slid 1.6 percent in Tokyo.