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.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye