Retail stocks slipped 0.7 percent Monday morning, but fared comparatively well in a global equities sell-off sparked by renewed concerns about sovereign debt loads in Europe.
The S&P Retail Index had fallen 3.52 points to 527.71 by noon on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.3 percent, or 160.67 points, to 12,351.37.
Among the retail decliners Monday morning were The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., down 2.8 percent to $9.95; Saks Inc., 1.7 percent to $10.91; Tiffany & Co., 1.2 percent to $68.43, and Dillard’s Inc., 1.2 percent to $52.65.
Late Friday, Standard & Poor’s revised its outlook on Italy’s government debt to “negative” from “stable.” Investors were already on the watch for European credit problems given budget crunches in Greece, Spain, Ireland and other countries.
The stock sell-off began in Asia, where the Nikkei 225 fell 1.5 percent in Tokyo and the Hang Seng Index slipped 2.1 percent in Hong Kong. It later spread to Europe, where the CAC 40 fell 2.1 percent in Paris and the FTSE 100 dropped 1.9 percent in London.