RETAIL STOCKS HIT BY SPECTER OF MORE INTEREST RATE HIKES

NEW YORK — Renewed interest rate fears sent retail stocks reeling Thursday, along with the rest of the market.
The fears came after a government report showed retail sales soared in March, suggesting the Federal Reserve might have to raise interest rates more than once in coming months to keep inflation from accelerating. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 201.58 to 10,924 while the Nasdaq lost 92.85 to 3677.
Among those taking blows were Kohl’s, 6 1/16 to 101; Tiffany, 4 3/16 to 73; Talbots, 3 7/8 to 52 3/8; Gap Inc., 2 3/16 to 41 11/16; Wal-Mart Stores, 2 7/16 to 60; Target Corp., 1 9/16 to 70 3/4; May Department Stores, 1 1/16 to 29 7/8; Federated Department Stores, 1 1/2 to 39 5/8; Intimate Brands, 1 1/2 to 41 1/2, and J.C. Penney, 3/4 to 14 9/16.
Claire’s Stores sank 4 1/8 to 17 3/4 after warning of weaker than expected earnings. Also falling were American Eagle, 1 11/16 to 28 3/8; Delia’s, 1 3/32 to 3 5/32; Pacific Sunwear of California, 1 7/16 to 36 1/16, and Wet Seal, 7/8 to 17 1/8.
Vendors fared better, with a few rising: Guess, up 1 3/16 to 27 11/16; Jones Apparel, 5/16 to 31 3/4, and Liz Claiborne, 1 5/8 to 46 3/16.

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