RETAIL STOCKS STILL OFF DESPITE DOW UPTICK

NEW YORK — Sell-off pressures continued for retail stocks Friday despite a gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 169.09 points, or 1.6 percent, to 10,844.05.
Retailers’ shares have been sliding since last Friday when a higher-than-expected inflation report triggered worries that the Federal Reserve Board would aggressively hike rates to slow the economy, hindering consumer spending.
Notable declines Thursday included Sears, Roebuck Co., 1 1/4 to 38 5/8; Talbots, 2 5/8 to 52; Zale, 1 3/16 to 41; Lands’ End, 1 5/8 to 48; Pacific Sunwear, 2 5/8 to 33 1/16; Ross Stores, 1 3/8 to 21; Ames, 2 1/8 to 17 7/8, and Gadzooks, 1 5/16 to 19 1/2. Only a few recent top performers managed to move ahead: Kohl’s Corp., 3 1/8 to 102 1/16; Tiffany & Co., 1 5/8 to 71 11/16, and Wal-Mart Stores, 2 3/4 to 57 11/16.
Kmart picked up 1/4 to 8 3/4 after Moody’s Investor Service raised its debt rating back to investment grade.
Vendors fared better, with gainers including Avon, 1 3/4 to 35 9/16; Guess, 3/4 to 30 1/8; Gildan Activewear, 3 3/4 to 37, and Kenneth Cole, 3/4 to 39 1/2. Seeing dips were Gucci, down 3/4 to 854 13/16; Jones Apparel, 1/8 to 30 3/16, and Sara Lee, 3/4 to 15 11/16.
Catching their breaths after last Friday’s scare, investors seemed to have reversed direction, favoring “old economy” stocks at the expense of technology issues. The Nasdaq lost 62.53, or 1.7 percent, to end the day at 3,643.8.