SOME RETAIL STOCKS TAKE TUMBLE, MAYBE VICTIMS OF EASTER WEATHER

NEW YORK — Several retailer stocks fell along with technology shares Monday, possibly due to investors’ concerns about the poor weather over the Easter holiday weekend.
Among retailers with large declines were Ann Taylor, down 2 9/16 to 21 7/8; American Eagle Outfitters, 1 11/16 to 22 1/8; Charming Shoppes, 5/16 to 5 7/16; and Pacific Sunwear, 1 5/8 to 31 7/16.
Maura Hunter Byrne, an analyst at Salomon Smith Barney, said some selloff pressures could have reflected “the market perceptions about Easter spending and what impact the cold, damp and wet weather had on Easter sales.”
A few retailers bucked the trend, including Nordstrom, which picked up 1 3/8 to 31 after it was raised by Merrill Lynch to “near-term buy” from “near-term accumulate” with a $40 target price.
Its new push toward contemporary fashion, its national advertising campaign, improving trends in inventory turns and margins, and a “successful Internet strategy” were cited.
The Limited Inc. climbed 2 5/16 to 46 1/4 after Prudential Securities raised the stock to “strong buy” from “hold.” Intimate Brands, which is 83 percent owned by The Limited, added 1 1/16 to 41 1/8.
Overall, the Nasdaq fell 160.42 points, or 4.4 percent, to 3,482.48 as a weaker-than-expected outlook by Microsoft led to a selloff in technology shares. The Dow added 62.05 points, or 0.6 percent, to 10,906.10