Retail stocks raced ahead 4.2 percent Wednesday, outperforming the broader market.
At noon, the S&P Retail Index was up 13.80 points to 342.66 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.6 percent, or 51.21 points, to 8,020.77.
Retail stocks have been volatile as investors look for surety and profits in the midst of the recession and banks’ credit woes, but the trend line has generally been positive. Shares of retailers are up 53.5 percent since their March 6 low.
Leading the pack was Destination Maternity Corp., which registered a 26.3 percent increase to $8.75. The firm beat its own projections with a $1.9 million second-quarter loss, the product of a $3.4 million charge to write down goodwill.
The strength was widespread.
Among those picking up steam were Cache Inc., up 20.2 percent to $3.28; Zale Corp., 13.8 percent to $5.11; Chico’s FAS Inc., 11 percent to $8; Saks Inc., 10.3 percent to $3.97; Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 7.6 percent to $25.19, and Macy’s Inc., 5.5 percent to $13.20.
For complete coverage, see Thursday’s WWD.