U.S. retail stocks joined the major indices in decline today after minutes from the Federal Reserve's meeting last month indicated the central bank could start to pull back on its bond purchases.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group receded 0.5 percent to 911.71, its third consecutive daily decline, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average once again failed to close above 16,000 after hitting the mark in midday trading. The Dow closed down 0.4 percent at 15,900.82 and the S&P 500, also down 0.4 percent, finished at 1,781.37.
The Federal Open Market Committee elected to leave in place its $85 billion in monthly asset purchases, but markets moved on word of a possible tapering of the bond purchases. Notes from the meeting said “the committee could decide to slow the pace of purchases at one of its next few meetings” depending on the pace of economic recovery.
Although it reported a wider third-quarter loss, investors were encouraged by signs of moderating sales declines at J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and sent shares up 8.4 percent to $9.44, the largest percentage gain among the retail, fashion and beauty stocks tracked by WWD. Aéropostale Inc. shares advanced 5.6 percent to $10.04 for the day’s second-biggest gain after Hirzel Capital Management LLC disclosed that it had taken an active 6 percent stake in the struggling teen retailer.
The day’s decliners also included Inter Parfums Inc., off 4 percent to $36.01, and Delia’s Inc., down 3.5 percent to $1.40.
U.S. markets had trended upward earlier in the day on government reports of better-than-expected retail sales and a decline in the Consumer Price Index.
European markets closed broadly flat. The FTSE 100 lost 0.3 percent to 6,681.08, Milan's FTSE MIB dropped 0.2 percent to 18,728.08 and Paris' CAC 40 dipped 0.1 percent to 4,268.37. Frankfurt's DAX managed a 0.1 percent increase to 9,202.07.
The euro traded at $1.35 against the dollar and the pound was worth $1.61.
Retail and luxury stocks ended the day with mixed results. Among the shares making gains were Ferragamo, up 2.2 percent to 25.76 euros; Brunello Cucinelli, 1.7 percent to 23.10 euros, and Kering, 1.1 percent to 163.85 euros.
Shares losing ground included Mulberry, down 4.4 percent to 10.25 pounds; Tod's, 0.6 percent to 116.80 euros, and Marks & Spencer, 0.5 percent to 4.93 pounds.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews