Wall Street closed out the week on a strong note with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 304 points to 15,916, as the S&P 500 gained 34.50 points to 1,859 and the Nasdaq added 45 points to 4,006. The S&P Retail ETF rose by 87 cents to $39.26 for a gain of 2.2 percent.
Investors took comfort in stronger than expected January retail sales and positive momentum in the oil market where prices rose 12 percent, but stubbornly remained below $30 a barrel to close at $29.33.
Bucking the trend was L Brands Inc., which saw its stock slide more than 3 percent at one point on Friday, but trimmed those losses to only 2.5 percent and closed the day at $81.87 after Victoria’s Secret chief executive officer Sharen Turney suddenly quit. Leslie Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer of L Brands will assume leadership of the business. Turney said she left to spend more time with her family. L Brands reported a 2 percent decline in same-store sales for January last week, pressuring the stock, which is now down 14 percent since the beginning of the year.
Sketchers stock rose by 7.5 percent to $30.38 after a report from Deutsche Bank said that, according to SportScanInfo, the company had a 13.1 percent year-over-year increase in athletic footwear sales for the week ending Feb. 6. Under Armour Inc.’s stock rose by 5.1 percent to $76.29 after the report indicated it saw an increase of 72 percent for week in its still-new footwear business. Nike footwear sales slipped 10.6 percent from last year.
Other big stock moves in retail included Avon Products Inc., which gained 20 percent to close at $3.17 after dropping almost the same amount on Thursday, when the company said its revenue fell 20 percent in the most-recent quarter.
The Commerce Department reported that January retail sales totaled $449.9 billion for an increase of 0.2 percent versus an expected gain of 0.1 percent. December’s sales were revised higher to an increase of 0.2 percent from the previously reported 0.1 percent.
Business inventories rose 0.1 percent in December as sales fell 0.6 percent. That raised inventory to 139 percent of sales, a level not seen since the recession. December inventories for apparel and apparel accessories stores rose 0.9 percent over November and 5.5 percent over a year earlier.
The stock market will be closed on Monday for President’s day.