The economic outlook is just bad enough that investors are starting to think it looks good.
With growth in the U.S. threatened by continued weakness in the job front and the debt crisis still clamping down on Europe, investors pushed up stocks today on the theory that the Federal Reserve might be ready to step in and help boost the economy. The Ben S. Bernanke-led Fed wraps up a two-day meeting on monetary policy Wednesday and is expected to weigh in with a statement midday.
Ahead of that update, the S&P Retail Index rose 0.8 percent, or 5.19 points, to 627.05 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.8 percent, or 95.51 points, to 12,837.33. The retail gainers included The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which shot up 10.3 percent to $5.91 after agreeing to sell its credit card portfolio, and Zumiez Inc., which rose 4.6 percent to $41.16 after inking a $75 million deal to acquire Austrian retailer Blue Tomato.
Also gaining ground were G-III Apparel Group Ltd., up 6.1 percent to $24.38; Sears Holdings Corp., 5.4 percent to $54.44; Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 4.3 percent to $41.11, and Nordstrom Inc., 4.1 percent to $51.03.
Shares of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. fell 8.6 percent to $22.25 as investors reacted to the departure of president Michael Francis.
In Europe, markets gained ground even as traders kept close watch on borrowing costs for Spain. Investors have also been keeping close tabs on Italy’s borrowing costs, but were more bullish today than they have been.
Milan’s FTSE MIB gained 3.4 percent to 13,445.46 as Frankfurt’s DAX rose 1.8 percent to 6,363.36, London’s FTSE 100 increased 1.7 percent to 5,586.21 and Paris’ CAC 40 advanced 1.7 percent to 3,117.92.
Yesterday, the Parisian fashion house @azzaro_official cut the ribbon on a temeporary retrospective at the wing of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The exhibition, which shows the lasting influence of the brand’s founder Loris Azzaro, is titled “Azzaro, Fifty Sparkling Years” and presents 50 looks. In it’s ’70s heyday, fans of the brand included Jane Birkin, pictured here, Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot and more. See more photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@trinaturk and @macys Inc International Concepts line are linking up on a collection for summer — filled with accessories, swimwear and shoes. The collection will also include a Mr Turk men’s line, both of which are the designer’s first entry into a more accessibly priced area. “It’s very world-traveler, gypset-inspired,” said Turk. The Trina Turk x INC line will launch on May 15th. #wwdfashion
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge