Financial Briefs

Retail Sales, Hurt by Autos, Drop in January

WASHINGTON U.S. retail sales, hit by the soft auto sector, slumped 0.9 percent in January, after a revised increase of 2 percent in December, the Commerce Department said last week. Excluding autos, sales jumped 1.3 percent, the largest increase since September 2000.

Publicis Shifts D’Arcy Staffers, Initiates Layoffs

PARIS Publicis is moving employees from D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles’ New York office, which the holding company closed last October, into other operating units. Some 150 D’Arcy staffers are joining Publicis in New York, while 50 employees are heading to Saatchi & Saatchi in New York. The company also said last week that 70 D’Arcy staffers in New York are being cut.