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Clothing Stocks Go Wild in a Calm Year for U.S. Market

Apparel companies have the most big one-day price swings in two years

Amid this year’s remarkably calm stock market, apparel firms are almost as volatile as the broader U.S. retail sector. Clothing and consumer-durable companies have seen 15 of the 100 biggest one-day price swings -- those exceeding 10 percent up or down -- in the S&P 500 Index as of August 18. Combating online competitors such as Amazon.com Inc. and fickle consumers, the retail industry as a whole has seen 21 large moves. American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and Express Inc. proved the apparel point Wednesday, gaining as much as 13 percent and 25 percent, respectively, on an intraday basis after the chains posted sales that beat expectations.

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