Retail stocks moved higher on Wall Street today after the Commerce Department boosted its estimate for third-quarter growth in the U.S. economy.
The new reading of the nation's GDP, which showed growth of 4.1 percent instead of the 3.6 percent previously projected, followed the Federal Reserve’s commitment earlier in the week to make only a modest cutback in its bond-buying program. The Fed also committed to keeping a low federal funds rate.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group responded with a 0.3 percent gain to 931.88, putting its advance for the week at 1.9 percent and its gains since the start of the year at 42.7 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average also advanced 0.3 percent, to 16,221.14, while the S&P 500 did slightly better, moving ahead 0.5 percent to 1,818.32.
Leading the charge among fashion, retail and beauty equities tracked by WWD was Christopher & Banks Corp., up 11.4 percent to $8.97. Its shares have appreciated 38.4 percent since its disclosed higher third-quarter profits on Dec. 4. Shares of American Apparel Inc. rose 10 percent to $1.21 while Zumiez Inc.’s shares improved 6.7 percent to $26.37. The Finish Line Inc. saw its shares gain 6.2 percent, to $27.77, following better-than-expected third-quarter profits and sales which were accompanied by an elevation for full-year earnings.
Among only a handful of fashion stocks with declines were The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., off 3 percent to $17.24, and Nike Inc., down 1.2 percent. Nike late Thursday reported second-quarter earnings that outpaced Wall Street’s expectations, although North American sales were slightly weaker than anticipated.
European markets also ended the week on a positive note.
The DAX in Frankfurt climbed 0.7 percent to 9,400.18, just outpacing the FTSE MIB in Milan, which rose 0.6 percent to 18,565.61. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.4 percent to 4,193.77 while the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.3 percent to 6,606.58.
Britons also received encouraging news about the pace of economic growth. The U.K.’s Office for National Statistics reported gross domestic product for the third quarter rose 0.8 percent compared with the previous quarter, and was up 1.9 percent compared with the same period last year.
It was a mixed day for Europe's fashion, luxury and retail stocks. Among those finishing ahead were Brunello Cucinelli, up 2.5 percent to 26.08 euros; Aeffe, 2.9 percent to 0.63 euros following disclosure of a distribution deal in Japan, and Burberry, which rose 1 percent to 14.65 pounds.
Those that fell included Safilo Group, down 2 percent to 16.82 euros and Mulberry Group, 1.8 percent to 9.38 pounds.
The euro traded for $1.34 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound went for $1.64.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast