NEW YORK — Stocks rallied on Friday on the hope that the Federal Reserve might end its series of interest rate hikes after the Labor Department reported a slowdown in job growth in April.

The WWD Composite Stock Index last week gained 1.7 percent, to 1,134.53 from 1,115.44 the previous week, while the broader S&P 500 Index rose 1.2 percent, to 1,325.76 from 1,310.61.

Retailers last week said April was their best-performing same-store sales month in two years, helped by the later arrival of Easter. This week, several broadline retailers and discounters will begin reporting first-quarter results. Among those expected to report earnings are Federated Department Stores Inc., Kohl’s Corp., J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Target Corp.

The Telsey Advisory Group has created an interactive calendar at its Web site, telseygroup.com, which provides a snapshot of scheduled earnings release dates, economic reporting and TAG presentations.

Started by analyst Dana Telsey, it will include a snapshot of retail activities and analysis of the sector.

Some of the issues TAG will follow are the Big Picture (consumers will continue to consolidate shopping trips, while expense leveraging will be more challenging for most retailers against the backdrop of rising energy and commodity prices), Turf Wars (expect discounters to improve assortment as specialty stores do more to drive traffic), What’s New? (store concepts still in the early stages of development) and Democratization of Luxury (broadening of the distribution channel).

The firm will launch its full range of services in August.

This story first appeared in the May 8, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Weekly % Changes
(Ending May 5)
Gainers
Decliners
Close Change   Close Change
Tarrant
1.79
36.64
Chico’s FAS
29.31
-20.91
Guess
45.99
16.05
Saks
16.14
-19.86
New York & Co.
17.49
12.33
Elizabeth Arden
20.64
-9.71
Mothers Work
28.48
9.37
True Religion
17.65
-9.25
Cato
24.38
7.73
United Retail
17.88
-8.82