With the exception of the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo, most global indices ended the trading day on a down note as concerns over the fiscal cliff in the U.S. and the European debt crisis continued to weigh on investors.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.2 percent to close at 9,388.94, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong lost 0.2 percent to 21,861.81.
The European markets closed down as euro zone finance ministers, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank met in Brussels to finalize a further tranche of funding worth 31.2 billion euros, or $40.5 billion at current exchange, for Greece. In addition, Italian consumer confidence fell to a record low.
The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.6 percent to 5,786.72; the CAC 40 in Paris dipped 0.8 percent to 3,500.94, and the DAX in Frankfurt declined 0.2 percent to 7,292.03. The FTSE MIB sank 0.7 percent to 15,520.14.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the day’s biggest declines including Mulberry and Swatch Group, which were both down 1.4 percent to 10.45 pounds and 74.55 Swiss francs, respectively. Asos.com dropped 0.7 percent to 23.69 pounds, while L’Oréal closed 0.2 percent down, at 14.15 euros, following an announcement that it has acquired Urban Decay from the private equity firm Castanea Partners.
Among the stocks making gains were French Connection Group, which was up 2.1 percent to 24 pence; Inditex, 0.5 percent to 103 euros; and Safilo, which rose 0.3 percent to 6.48 euros.
As Greece’s international creditors were in talks to discuss an aid package for the country, it was still unclear whether creditors will have to accept a writedown on the funds they have loaned Greece.
In Italy, consumer confidence fell to a record low in October as the country continues to grapple with recession and feeble domestic demand.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 percent to 12,967.37, while the S&P Retail Index was down 0.4 percent to 538.93.
The big concern on Wall Street was primarily the U.S. holiday shopping season as data started coming in on sales over the Black Friday to Cyber Monday sales weekend. One concern was that retailers were getting their sales but mostly because of heavier-than-usual discounting.
Also weighing on the minds of investors was the upcoming fiscal cliff, which is expected to push the U.S. economy into another recession if lawmakers are unable to agree on budget issues over taxes and spending.
The two top gainers were Express Inc., up nearly 5.5 percent to close at $12.88, and The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., up 5.4 percent to $11.86.
Zale Corp. continued its slide down, losing nearly 5 percent in trading to close at $4.78, following Wednesday’s report of a first-quarter loss of $28.3 million, or 88 cents a diluted share, which was 20 cents more than what analysts were expecting. Aéropostale Inc. declined over concerns that it was losing market share to its mall competitors Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. Shares of Aéropostale fell 4.7 percent to close at $13.77. Others who saw a decline were Macy’s Inc., falling nearly 4.5 percent to close at $39.86, and Nordstrom Inc., declining 4.1 percent to $54.24.
“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