Retail stocks fell 2.2 percent for the week as investors moved into gold and other precious metals amid worries over the European debt crisis and a Moody’s Investors Service warning it might downgrade the U.S.’s credit rating if lawmakers don’t come to an agreement to raise the debt ceiling.

 

Despite the lingering financial angst, and the decline for the week, the S&P Retail Index inched up 0.3 percent, or 1.58 points, to 542.73 Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which slipped 1.4 percent for the week, rose 0.3 percent, or 42.61 points, to 12,479.73.

 

In Europe, concerns that Italy would get bogged down with debt troubles pressured markets. The CAC 40 fell 4.8 percent to 3,726.59 in Paris for week, while the FTSE 100 declined 2.3 percent to 5,854.59 in London.

 

Of the 169 stocks tracked by WWD, 50 rose for the week, while three ended flat and 116 fell.

 

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told House lawmakers that the pace of the economic recovery depended in large part on the consumer.

 

“Much of the slowdown in aggregate demand this year has been centered in the household sector, and the ability and willingness of consumers to spend will be an important determinant of the pace of the recovery in coming quarters,” he said.

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