Retail stocks fell today and shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. weighed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average after J.P. Morgan downgraded the discounter’s stock to neutral from overweight.
J.P. Morgan analyst Christopher Horvers said Wal-Mart improved last year, having added more stockkeeping units to its stores and “successfully returning to price/assortment leadership after wandering off the path.”
But the analyst noted, “With the low-hanging fruit behind them and considering the company’s massive size and the pressures from the payroll tax increase, we believe [comparable-store sales] have peaked/will plateau following three straight years of acceleration.” Shares of Wal-Mart declined 1.2 percent to $69.63, weighing on the Dow, which fell 0.9 percent, or 129.71, to 13,880.08.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 1.2 percent, or 8.36 points, to 691.92.
The day’s decliners included The Jones Group Inc., down 5 percent to $11.54; Guess Inc., 4.8 percent to $25.95; The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., 4.4 percent to $12.53; Tiffany & Co., 4 percent to $62.17, and J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 2.7 percent to $19.34.
Both retail stocks and market overall are still near their all-time highs.
In Europe, markets took a tumble, falling to their lowest level in three months amid political drama in Spain and Italy and more general concerns over the euro zone.
The FTSE MIB led the way, dropping 4.5 percent to 16,539.00, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, which retreated three percent to 3,659.91. The DAX in Frankfurt fell 2.5 percent to 7,638.23 and the FTSE 100 in London contracted 1.6 percent to 6,246.84.
The euro was trading at $1.36 against the dollar, the pound was valued at $1.57 and the Swiss franc fetched $1.10.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with those losing the most ground including LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, down 4.2 percent to 134 euros; L’Oréal, 3 percent to 108.60 euros; Safilo, 2.8 percent to 7.93 euros, and PPR, 1.5 percent to 161.05 euros.
Going against the predominant downward trend was The Swatch Group, which rose 4.3 percent to 92.95 Swiss francs, after reporting that full-year 2012 net profits jumped 26 percent, and that 2013 would bring more growth.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)