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Lululemon Slumps as Margins Decline; Stocks Close Restless Day

Lululemon (LULU) plummeted Thursday after higher quarterly sales came at the expense of lower gross margins. The inverse correlation suggests the retailer engaged in increased promotional activity over the period to move inventory. Stocks started the day out flat, soared by lunchtime, and deflated in the final hour in a restless day of trading. Market moves have been unpredictable heading into next week's Federal Reserve meeting in which members could hike rates for the first time since 2006. Trading in Avon (AVP) was briefly halted this afternoon after a price surge triggered a circuit breaker. Shares spiked more than 12% before the halt on reports the company is holding talks with private-equity funds for a new round of investments.

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