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Retail stocks outperform as stocks trade in range

Stocks (^DJI, ^GSPC, ^IXIC) little changed here … but, beaten down retail names are getting their revenge. Plus, the Whole Foods, Amazon deal is set to close next week—We’ll tell you why your kale might be cheaper. And, activists say they’re good for shareholders, but are they making it worse when it comes to board diversity? We explain. Plus a look ahead to everything you need to know about tomorrow, which will be a big day for central bank watchers. Catch The Final Round at 4 p.m. with Jen Rogers and Yahoo Finance markets correspondent Myles Udland.

Winners and losers

Stocks in the red today include Hormel as the Spam and Dinty Moore maker cut its full year forecast; China Unicom selling off following monster gains earlier this week for the Chinese mobile operator; and J.M. Smucker, with shares souring today after the jam and beverage maker reported weak earnings and cut its forecast due to a slump in its coffee business.

Stocks getting a boost today include Guess as the apparel maker reported a wide earnings beat; Signet Jewelers as the Zales and Kay parent reported a surprise gain in same-store sales; and Williams-Sonoma, with shares of the housewares retailer up as it reported a profit and revenue beat as well as strong current quarter guidance.

How to trade this market

Stocks are slipping today, but over the last five trading sessions most everything has been up — except the VIX, which has retreated. Where is this market headed next? David Bahnsen, founder and CIO of The Bahnsen Group of HighTower Advisors.