Retail stocks brushed off the damaging effects of a weekend snowstorm along the eastern seaboard and posted strong gains in Monday morning trading.

 

At noon, the S&P Retail Index was up 7.11 points, or 1.8 percent, to 414.19, outpacing gains of 1.2 percent by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which stood at 10,453.06, and 1.4 percent by both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite, which ended the morning at 1,117.46 and 2,242.16, respectively.

 

The strong performance on Wall Street followed advances by markets in Europe. The CAC 40 in Paris bounded 2.1 percent to 3,872.06 and London’s FTSE 100 was up 1.9 percent to 5,293.99. Equities were less heated in Asia as the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.4 percent to 10,183.47 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.1 percent to 20,948.10.

 

Leading the charge among U.S. retailers was Zale Corp., among the leaders on the New York Stock Exchange’s list of largest percentage gainers with an 18.8 percent increase to $2.47.

Zale’s shares were down 17.8 percent on Friday and last week fell 36 percent, more than any of the public firms tracked by WWD. They have been cut in half since the company said on Dec. 4 that its November same-store sales were down 18.6 percent on top of a 6.8 percent decline in its first quarter. Friday’s contraction followed reports that it was canceling orders in light of weak demand. The company responded by saying it was in the process of “reviewing and canceling certain orders” and that some payments had been delayed as it evaluated its plans.

Registering strong but less spectacular gains in trading Monday morning were Stein Mart Inc., up 6.9 percent to $10.45; Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., 6.7 percent to $25.25; J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 3.3 percent to $27.90; The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., 3.2 percent to $21.68, and Macy’s Inc., 2.4 percent to $17.37.

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