Positive reactions to fourth-quarter earnings reports from Macy’s Inc. and The Home Depot Inc. sent retail stocks higher even as the broader market declined slightly.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group enjoyed its second strongest gain of the year, rising 1.9 percent to 920.19. With the advance, the index has more days of gains than declines — 19 versus 18 — for the first time in 2014. The close was just slightly below the 920.87 arrived at on Jan. 14.
The major indices came close but were unable to break even for the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 0.2 percent at 16,179.66 and the S&P 500 dropped 0.1 percent to 1,845.12.
Shares of Macy’s Inc. advanced 6 percent to $56.25 after its fourth-quarter profits exceeded analysts’ consensus expectations even as sales lagged behind them after a difficult January. Home Depot’s stock was up 4 percent to $80.98 on an earnings “beat” also tempered by a small revenue “miss.”
Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc. shares were up 12 percent to $35.24 as its sales and profits increased in the fourth quarter while Dillard’s Inc. was up 7.9 percent to $90.17 following its report late Monday of declines in earnings, margins and sales.
The upward lift for retailers came despite The Conference Board’s report of a small decline in consumer confidence in February after modest improvements in both January and December. Other beneficiaries included Joe’s Jeans Inc., up 4.3 percent to $1.46; Bebe Stores Inc., up 4.3 percent to $5.37, and American Apparel, up 3.9 percent to 73 cents.
Among fashion, retail and beauty stocks traded by WWD, the largest decline by far was suffered by Perry Ellis International Inc., which surrendered 17.5 percent to close at $12.93 following its report late Monday of preliminary fourth-quarter results that fell well short of earlier guidance. Perry Ellis blamed weak traffic among consumers and lower replenishment activity among its retail accounts for the shortfall, which had also caused some January orders to be pushed back to later months.
Other declines hit The Wet Seal Inc., off 3.3 percent to $1.75, and Hudson’s Bay Co., down 2.7 percent to $16.04.
European stock markets edged down slightly at the close of trading, with the FTSE 100 in London lagging the most.
The British market sank 0.5 percent to 6,830.50, while the FTSE MIB in Milan was down 0.2 percent to 20,435.82. The DAX in Frankfurt and the CAC 40 in Paris were both down 0.1 percent to 9,699.35 and to 4,414.55 respectively.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the exception of L’Oréal, which was up 1.6 percent to 125.20 euros; Marks & Spencer Group, 1.1 percent to 5.11 pounds, and French Connection Group, 3 percent to 57 pence.
Among the stocks that lost the most ground was Moncler, which was down 11 percent to 13.20 euros after the firm’s double-digit profit and sales gains only slightly beat analysts’ expectations for the fiscal year. Brunello Cucinelli was down 1.4 percent to 20.47 euros while LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Tod’s both declined 1 percent to 137.35 euros and to 98.85 euros, respectively.
The euro traded at $1.37 versus the U.S. dollar while the pound fetched $1.66 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.13.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)