U.S. equities staged a late, dramatic rally on Wednesday to pare losses despite persistent fears about a potential Greek exit from the eurozone.
While the S&P 500 index eked out a 0.2 percent increase, after dipping as much as 1.5 percent at mid-day, a basket of footwear stocks closed 0.6 percent higher.
Earlier in the day, stocks in Europe and Asian had also closed lower. By end of trading, the euro had also dropped below $1.26 to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar since July 2010.
Out of 30 industry counters, nine ended in the red. Among the largest losers were LaCrosse Footwear Group Inc., which dropped 6.3 percent; K-Swiss Inc., which fell 4.3 percent; and Rocky Brands Inc., which slipped 1.7 percent.
Genesco Inc., after reporting better-than-expected first-quarter results Wednesday morning, closed the day 1.5 percent lower due to the company’s conservative guidance given continued macroeconomic uncertainty.
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The biggest gainer was Heelys Inc., which rose 2.8 percent. Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. advanced 2.2 percent, while Shoe Carnival Inc. gained 1.7 percent.
Possibly contributing to the rally was a signal that the housing market is steadily improving. The Commerce Department announced Wednesday that sales of new homes in the U.S. increased 3.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000.