The stock market roared higher on Thursday, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI), S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC), and Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) to record levels. Investors chose to look past outrage across the globe at events in Washington, instead hoping that President Trump's assurances of an orderly transition of power will actually become reality. The Nasdaq enjoyed the biggest gains, rising more than 2.5%.

Index

Percentage Change

Point Change

Dow

+0.69%

+212

S&P 500

+1.48%

+56

Nasdaq Composite

+2.56%

+327

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Yet there were a couple of groups of stocks that had trouble on Thursday. Chinese telecom companies were the biggest losers on the day, as they got bad news from Wall Street. Meanwhile, Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) and Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) led several retailers lower.

Getting the boot after all

China's three top telecoms were all down sharply on Thursday. China Telecom (NYSE:CHA) fell 13%, while China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) declined 11% and China Mobile (NYSE:CHL) finished with a 6% drop.

Hand with mobile phone in front of Chinese flag.

Image source: Getty Images.

The declines came after the New York Stock Exchange decided that it would follow through with moves to delist the three companies from U.S. trading. That was prompted by an executive order from President Trump that called for the move.

Investors were surprised, though, because the NYSE had said earlier in the week that it wouldn't delist the companies. Apparently, though, the stock exchange got additional guidance from federal regulators, forcing it to do the about-face yet again.

At this point, it's not clear whether the delistings will be permanent or whether trading in the stocks might resume once President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20. For now, though, shareholders are voting with their feet.

A tough day for Bed Bath & Beyond

Elsewhere, several retail stocks suffered significant losses. Bed Bath & Beyond saw the biggest losses, falling 11%. Urban Outfitters dropped 7%.

Bed Bath & Beyond's fiscal third-quarter financial report disappointed investors who'd hoped for a better read on the early part of the holiday season from the home goods retailer. Revenue was down 5% for the quarter ending Nov. 28, and comparable-sales growth across the company was up just 2% from year-earlier levels. The company also projected that comps for the fiscal fourth quarter would be flat year over year.

There were a few bright sides to Bed Bath & Beyond's report. Digital comps from the core business nearly doubled, and the company reported 11% comps growth in what it calls its top 5 destination categories. The retailer got 2.2 million new online customers during the quarter, and it posted an adjusted profit, reversing a year-earlier loss.

Urban Outfitters fell in sympathy, while other retailer stocks were mixed. Yet what will be truly telling is when retailers start reporting their results for the full holiday season. At that point, it'll be far easier to see whether the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the economy let up at all at the end of the year -- or whether headwinds could continue well into 2021.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.