Retail stocks ended a roller-coaster week with a 0.2 percent decline Friday as investors tried to strike a balance between reports showing rising consumer confidence and an unexpected decline in May retail sales.

This story first appeared in the June 14, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The S&P Retail Index slipped 0.99 points to 434.03, ending the week with a 1.7 percent gain. Retail decliners for the day included American Apparel Inc., down 12.3 percent to $1.35; Coldwater Creek Inc., 4.3 percent to $4.28, and Saks Inc., 1.8 percent to $8.30.

Of the 172 stocks tracked by WWD, 125 rose last week as six held steady and 41 lost ground.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.4 percent, or 38.54 points, to 10,211.07 Friday, marking a 2.8 percent rise for the week.

Investors were spooked by a Commerce Department report showing a 1.2 percent drop in May retail sales where economists were looking for a 0.2 percent gain.

On the other side of the ledger, consumer confidence rose to a nearly two-and-a-half-year high in early June, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers. The preliminary take on June pushed the consumer sentiment index to 75.5 from 73.6 at the end of May.

Investors have been quick to drive markets up or down and are watching closely for reassurance that the U.S. recovery is for real and that Europe’s debt problems won’t spread across the Atlantic.

Last week, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. economy would expand by about 3.5 percent this year and pick up its pace next year. But even that growth is expected to only slowly reduce the unemployment rate, which has topped 9 percent for more than a year. Europe’s central bank also boosted its outlook for economic growth this year to a 0.7 percent to 1.3 percent gain.

European investors pushed the CAC 40 up 2.9 percent to 3,555.52 in Paris last week, as the DAX gained 1.8 percent to 6,047.83 in Frankfurt and the FTSE 100 increased 0.9 percent to 5,163.68 in London.

Asian issues were split for the week, with the Hang Seng Index rising 0.5 percent to 19,872.38 in Hong Kong and the Nikkei falling 2 percent to 9,705.25 in Tokyo.

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