A strong report on November retail sales helped left the WWD Global Stock Tracker 0.7 percent to 106.67.
The Department of Commerce said November retail sales rose 0.7 percent to $449.3 billion, with apparel and accessories stores up a seasonally adjusted 1.2 percent to $21.4 billion. Sales at general merchandise stores, including discounters and department stores, were up 0.5 percent to $56 billion.
U.S. equity markets registered large gains in morning trading that were trimmed in the afternoon, principally on persistent concerns about the effects of falling oil prices on energy stocks.
However, the reported strength at retail last month helped the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rise 1 percent to 996.23, twice the increase of the S&P 500, which finished at 2,035.33.
The largest gain among the 100 international fashion, retail and beauty stocks came from Lululemon Athletica Inc., up 7.6 percent to $32.30, after the Vancouver-based firm after it raised fourth-quarter guidance and reported increase penetration of online sales in the third quarter.
Lululemon was followed by Urban Outfitters Inc., up 7.6 percent to $32.30, after the Philadelphia-based specialty retail reported late Wednesday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its comparable retail segment sales so far in the fourth quarter were up in the low-single digits after slipping 1 percent in the third quarter.
Anta Sports Products Ltd. shares were up 7.2 percent to 13.94 Hong Kong dollars, or $1.80 at current exchange, and Inditex SA’s stock rose 4.2 percent to 23.30 euros, or $29, after it reported a 1 percent increase in net income for the first three quarters of the year, implying a 5 percent increase in the third quarter.
Rounding out the top five gains, American Apparel Inc. moved ahead 3.7 percent to 56 cents.
Oxford Industries Inc. shares declined the furthest among tracker stocks, shedding 7.3 percent to $56.77 after it brought down its fourth-quarter and full-year guidance late Wednesday. Li Ning Co. was off 6.2 percent to 3.47 Hong Kong dollars, or 45 cents, while Ted Baker plc was down 4.4 percent to 19.35 pounds, or $30.41. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. gave up 3.5 percent to close at $27.30 while Global Brands Group was down 3 percent to 1.62 Hong Kong dollars, or 21 cents.
The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. shares fell 1 percent to $41.79 after it late Wednesday lower third-quarter earnings than analysts had expected.