Retail stocks gained ground at the close on Wall Street today, fighting back from a midday decline that came on the heels of a weaker-than-expected take on consumer confidence.
The preliminary January reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment showed a decline to 71.3 from 72.9 the month before. Economists expected the gauge of sentiment to rise to 74.
The confidence index now stands at its lowest level since December 2011.
“Americans are noticing that their paychecks are smaller, and debt ceiling fatigue is starting to kick-in,” said Chris Christopher, U.S. economist at forecasting firm IHS Global Insight, in an analysis. “Discretionary consumer spending is likely to suffer since a smaller paycheck, and falling consumer confidence will bring caution into play at the mall.”
The drop in sentiment didn’t have a lasting impact on the market. The S&P Retailing Industry Group began the session by hitting a new all-time high of 685 and then fell into a funk before rebounding. As trading settled, the index was up 0.4 percent, or 2.49 points, to 684.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.4 percent, or 53.68 points, to 13,649.70. U.S. markets are at or near multi-year highs.
Among the day’s fashion gainers were Movado Group Inc., 9.3 percent to $37.17; Tumi Holdings Inc., 5.6 percent to $23.78; J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 4 percent to $18.87; The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., 3.1 percent to $13.82, and Express Inc., 3.1 percent to $18.16.
In Europe, stocks were generally down outside of London, where the FTSE 100 gained 0.4 percent to 6,154.41.
Frankfurt’s DAX fell 0.4 percent to 7,702.23, as Milan’s FTSE MIB decreased 0.2 percent to 17,554.13 and Paris’ CAC 40 slipped 0.1 percent to 3,0741.58.
The decliners included Mulberry Group, down 2 percent to 12.50 pounds; Luxottica Group, 0.8 percent to 33.12 euros; ASOS.com, 0.7 percent to 26.82 pounds, and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 0.5 percent to 141.45 euros.
The pound traded at $1.59 against the dollar, while the euro went for $1.33.
The New York Stock Exchange will be closed Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.
“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