Footwear Stocks Swing Up

A basket of industry stocks was on the rise Thursday after the Dow reached record highs for the third consecutive day this week.

Investor euphoria over encouraging economic data helped push footwear-related counters up more widely than the benchmark indices, or a median of 0.4 percent higher.

In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent to 14,329.49, its third consecutive session reaching a record close. The Dow first hit its highest level in five years on Tuesday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index also gained 0.2 percent, to reach 1,544.26, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.3 percent to close at 3,232.09.

The biggest gainer was Shoe Carnival Inc., which rose 5 percent, despite the company announcing late Wednesday it would have a worse-than-expected fourth quarter due to highly negative same-store sales trends in the last two weeks of January.

Business remained challenging at the retailer through early February, but “rebounded sharply, particularly in athletic footwear, when the income tax refunds began reaching [customers],” the firm said in a statement. It also is possible investors were buying the stock on weakness.

Skechers USA Inc. and Brown Shoe Co. were the second- and third-largest gainers, respectively. Skechers rose 3.3 percent to close at $21.98 a share, while Brown Shoe advanced 3.2 percent to $17.25.

The three firms that lost the most ground today were Coach Inc., which closed down 2.8 percent at $48.54; DSW Inc., which slipped 0.7 percent to $67.98; and Saks Inc., which lost 0.6 percent to $11.18.

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