Stock markets closed mixed Wednesday yet generally lower or flat,

at best of cases. Blue-chip companies trading in London were down after figures showed that the UK economy shrank by 0.2% in the final quarter of last year, while Luxottica rose the most since May 2010 after reporting quarterly gains.

In London, retail shares suffered a backset with the exception of Dixons Retail which was over 2% higher. Marks & Spencer closed nearly flat.

Upside was Asia overnight trade being offset by continuing worries about the European economies: the Nikkei was up 98 points at 8,884. However, the FTSE100 had fallen 38.30 points to 5,713.6, as opposed to the broader FTSE250, which was up 20.68 points at 10,757.61. In comparison, and in Wall Street at market close Tuesday, the Dow fell 33 points to 12,676, the Nasdaq Composite slightly went up to 2,787 and the S&P500 closed lower, falling to 1,315.

Under the spotlight Wednesday was Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN), down 2.2% to $48.52. Over the past year, Nordstrom has traded in a range of $37.28 to $53.35 and is now at $48.52, 30% above that low, reported the FNNO. “Over the past week, the 200-day moving average (MA) has remained constant while the 50-day MA has remained constant,” they added.

In the corporate news chapter, the shares at Coach saw a good deal of movement and comment on Wednesday, when analysts at Goldman Sachs increased their price target on the luxury handbags designer´s shares to $69.00 in a research report issued to clients and. They currently have a “neutral” rating on the company’s shares. Also analysts at Deutsche Bank raised their price target on shares of Coach to $68.00 in a research note to investors on Wednesday, as well as Needham & Company, that lifted its price target to $82.00.

Analysts at Seeking Alpha highlighted a number of fashion stocks that might be potentially sought after but short sellers. The selection of shares includes Sears, Dillard´s, Saks, Deckers Outdoor and Columbia Sportswear.

In line with this approach, Dillard’s stock had its “outperform” rating reaffirmed by Zacks Investment Research in a research note issued on Wednesday. They currently have a $50.00 price target on the stock. “Dillard’s third-quarter 2011 earnings of $0.48 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.38 and surged more than twice from the prior-year quarter on the heels of strong comparable store sales growth and improved margins. Management is also undertaking restructuring initiatives and inventory reduction efforts to reduce costs while boosting its profitability. Moreover, in order to enhance its liquidity position and manage risks more efficiently, Dillard’s has recently formed a wholly-owned real estate investment trust company along with a captive insurance company. Further, Dillard’s healthy balance sheet and adequate cash flows allows it to make shareholder friendly moves, such as acquisitions, dividends and share repurchases. Currently, we are maintaining our long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock,” Zacks’ analyst wrote.

Finally, Luxottica Group SpA (LUX), owner of the Oakley and Ray-Ban sunglasses brands, rose the most since May 2010 as analysts raised target prices after fourth-quarter sales beat estimates. The Italian company threw light upon the punished European markets as its shares climbed as much as 6.2 percent to 25.45 euros and traded up 5.1 percent in Milan.
 

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