A basket of 45 counters tracked by Footwear News gained a median of 0.33 percent, as initial jobless claims — a measure of layoffs — increased by a larger-than-expected 38,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000 in the week ended Jan. 26, the Labor Department said.
At the same time, the Commerce Department said personal incomes rose 2.6 percent in December, the highest increase in eight years.
As a result, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 traded erratically throughout Thursday’s session, eventually closing 0.4 percent and 0.3 percent lower, at 13,860.58 points and 1,498.11 points, respectively.
All told, it was still a good first month of 2013 for the U.S. equity market. The Dow has risen 5.8 percent year-to-date, and the S&P 500 has advanced 5 percent.
The biggest gainer Thursday was Under Armour Inc., which climbed 5.7 percent to $50.87 per share after announcing its net income rose 54 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Brown Shoe Co. and Skechers USA Inc. were second and third, respectively, advancing 2.8 percent to $17.24, and 2.3 percent to $19.