Retail stocks kicked off the second half on Monday in fine style, comfortably outperforming Wall Street — and analysts said the resilient consumer could propel stocks further during the key back-to-school and holiday seasons.
The S&P 500 Retail Industry Group rose 1.1 percent, or 8.57 points, to 796.94, outpacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which increased 0.4 percent, or 65.36 points, to 14,974.96. Retail stocks jumped 20.7 percent during the first half, ahead of the Dow’s 13.8 percent gain.
Consumers, who, according to sentiment surveys, have regained their prerecession confidence as the housing market improved, might be poised to send retailers higher.
“The consumer is still on track,” said Matthew Boss, a stock analyst at J.P. Morgan. “The consumer places an emphasis on the value of their home and that home equity is really the backbone of their ability to spend.”
Boss said retailers aren’t likely to break any revenue record over June or July, but could perk up as b-t-s price cuts take hold.
“While the consumer will come out, I think it will be a promotional back-to-school, and a well-received back-to-school will lead to a good holiday,” he said.
The holiday season will have six fewer shopping days this year versus last year, which could muddy the waters, but Boss said the fall comparisons could be favorable given the focus on the elections last year.
“Retail should do OK,” said Paul Nolte, managing director with Dearborn Partners in Chicago. “We’ve been counting out the consumer for some time and the consumer continues to be in there spending. The general retailers — Wal-Mart, Dollar General and Target — will be fine.”
Nolte predicted the market would grow by fits and starts, gaining another 4 to 5 percent this year as investors keep a close eye on the Federal Reserve’s moves and corporate earnings.
Fashion gainers on Monday included The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., up 4.1 percent to $18.79; Maidenform Brands Inc., 2.6 percent to $17.78; Gap Inc., 2.6 percent to $42.80; Nordstrom Inc., 2.1 percent to $61.21; The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., 2.1 percent to $38.65, and Kohl’s Corp., 2.1 percent to $51.57.
Markets also gained ground in Europe, where Canada’s former central bank chief Mark Carney became governor of the Bank of England, succeeding Sir Mervyn King. Markets are hoping that Carney will be able to jump start the British economy.
Milan’s FTSE MIB rose 1.5 percent to 15,459.57, as London’s FTSE 100 increased 1 percent to 6,307.78; Paris’ CAC 40 advanced 0.8 percent to 3,767.48, and Frankfurt’s DAX inched up 0.3 percent to 7,983.92.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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