Retail stocks rose 1.2 percent this week, reversing course after four straight weeks of declines.

 

The sector joined a broader bounce-back that accompanied renewed hopes Friday that embattled Greece would be able to get its fiscal house in order with the help of its European neighbors. Investors have been worrying on and off since last summer that the country’s debt woes could spread to other economies.

 

The S&P Retail Index capped off its winning week with a 0.8 percent, or 3.72 point, gain Friday to close at 502.58.

 

Retail stocks set an all-time high of 552.11 on May 13, but have since declined 9 percent as May’s tepid payroll gains and other economic reports pointed to a weaker-than-hoped-for recovery and Europe’s debt troubles flared up.

 

Of the 168 stocks tracked by WWD, 123 rose last week, while five ended flat and 40 dropped.

 

Leading the week’s winners was The Timberland Co., which shot up 43.5 percent to $43.03 following the firm’s deal to sell itself to VF Corp. for $43 a share. Investors liked both side of the deal and VF’s stock rose 12 percent to $102.80 for the week.

 

And shares of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. increased 14.6 percent to $34.29 as the company named Apple retail wiz Ron Johnson as its next chief executive officer.

 

Retail gained as the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a six-week losing streak, rising 0.4 percent for the week. European investors pushed the CAC 40 up 0.5 percent in Paris, but the FTSE 100 fell 0.9 percent in London.

 

The Nikkei 225 declined 1.7 percent in Tokyo and the Hang Seng Index fell 3.2 percent in Hong Kong.

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