NEW YORK — Declining oil prices offset fears of a spending pullback due to eroding consumer confidence, which pushed the WWD Composite Stock Index up 2.5 percent for the week.

The index rose to 1,050.73 on Friday from 1,025.25 in the prior week. The gain was ahead of the S&P 500‘s 1.1 percent increase to 1,228.81 from 1,215.29.

For retail shares, last week was a bit of a bumpy ride. The ongoing concern is fuel costs and their impact on consumer spending. Last Tuesday, the Conference Board reported its sharpest point drop of its Consumer Confidence Index in 15 years. The index fell 18.9 points for September, which also brought the index to its lowest level in two years. For the four weeks ended Sept. 20, the index dropped to 86.6 for the month from a reading of 105.5 in August. Economists had expected the index to decline to around a reading of 95.

As investors mulled weakening consumer confidence levels, the Commerce Department said consumer inflation rose 0.5 percent, which is the highest gain since 1990. Meanwhile, consumer spending showed a 0.5 percent decline.

But a drop in the price of oil on Friday to $66.24 a barrel was good enough for investors to push up shares of key retail stocks.

This story first appeared in the October 3, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Weekly % Changes
(Ending September 30)
Largest Gainers
Largest Losers
Close Change   Close Change
True Religion 16.64 9.40 Mothers Work 10.00 -14.16
Chico’s FAS 36.80 8.84 Revlon 3.22 -4.45
Urban Outfitters 29.40 7.20 Charlotte Russe 13.32 -4.38
A&F 49.85 7.18 Syms 13.39 -4.36
Guess 21.43 6.72 Retail Ventures 10.98 -4.27
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