Retail stocks eased off their record high, falling 0.7 percent Friday, but the first-quarter earnings season continued to pick up steam with strong results from Dillard’s Inc.

 

The S&P Retail Index fell 4.09 points to 547.25 Friday, remaining close to its all-time high of 551.72 set the day before. Retail issues gained 1.8 percent for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.8 percent, or 100.17 points, to 12,595.75 Friday, making for a 0.3 percent decline for the week.

 

Retail stocks have been supported by a generally recovering economy and better corporate earnings — a theme that continued this week with solid showings from Dillard’s, Macy’s Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. Dillard’s stock shot up 15.3 percent Friday after the retailer reported a 57.2 percent gain in profits.

 

It remains to be seen if the strong earnings and record-breaking stock levels will be able to withstand cost pressures that are building in the supply chain and will hit with full force during the back-to-school season.

 

Among the retailers gaining ground in the markets last week were Dillard’s, up 16.3 percent to $56; Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., 15 percent to $3.90; Zale Corp., 13.3 percent to $3.75; Macy’s, 9.1 percent to $28.46, and Nordstrom, 0.5 percent to $47.63.

 

Of 170 North American and European equities tracked by WWD, 123 were up last week while 42 declined and five were flat.

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