Stock markets retreated today as Wal-Mart’s Stores Inc.’s third-quarter sales fell short of expectations, weekly jobless claims spiked and Europe sunk into recession.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group was just barely ahead in the final minutes of trading, up 0.20 points to 635.10, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.2 percent, or 20.86 points, to 12,550.09.
Wal-Mart, a component of the Dow but not the retail index, said its third-quarter revenues came in at $113.93 billion — below the $114.95 billion analysts estimated. That helped push the stock down 3.5 percent to $68.80 and, given Wal-Mart’s size, weighed on the market overall.
Other retail decliners included The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which posted narrower third-quarter losses, but saw its stock slip 5.9 percent to $10.29; Urban Outfitters Inc., down 3.8 percent to $34.82, and American Eagle Outfitters, off 2.4 percent to $18.87.
Investors are still trying to gauge the lingering impact of Hurricane Sandy and the consumer reaction to Washington’s debate over the fiscal cliff, a potentially toxic combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts.
Initial jobless claims jumped 78,000 last week to 439,000, well ahead of the 369,000 economists projected. Part of the increase was attributed to Sandy.
In European stock markets closed down as the euro zone officially slipped into recession. According to Eurostat, the euro zone returned to recession in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. The economy across 17 nations shrank 0.1 percent, after contracting 0.2 percent in the second quarter.
A recession is usually defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction.
The DAX in Frankfurt and London’s FTSE 100 suffered the day’s biggest losses, both dropping 0.8 percent to 7,043.42 and 5,677.75 respectively. The FTSE MIB in Milan dipped 0.6 percent to 15,162.82, while the CAC 40 in Paris edged down 0.5 percent to 3,382.40.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the day’s biggest decliners including Hennes & Mauritz, which fell 3 percent to 213.10 Swedish krona following news that same-store sales in October decreased 5 percent; Mulberry Group, down 2.6 percent to 10.42 pounds; Marks & Spencer Group, 2.1 percent to 37.06 pounds; Compagnie Financière Richemont, 1.9 percent to 64.40 Swiss francs; and PPR, 1.5 percent to 133.50 euros.
The few stocks that gained ground included Asos, up 2.3 percent to 22.32 pounds; French Connection, 4.3 percent to 0.25 pounds, and Luxottica, 0.3 percent to 29.70 euros.
The euro traded at $1.27 versus the dollar, the pound was valued at $1.59, the Swedish krona was worth 15 cents and the Swiss franc traded at $1.06.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion