Retail stocks gained ground today as Wall Street briefly touched a five-year high and proved to be strong enough to support a rumor that accessories giant Coach Inc. could put itself on the market.
A Coach spokeswoman batted away the talk, noting, “We do not comment on speculation or rumors, particularly unsubstantiated ones.” But the report, attributed to DealReporter, was enough to push shares of Coach up as much as 5.4 percent before the stock closed up 2.8 percent at $47.82. More than 14 million shares traded hands, well above the 5.5 million daily average for the past three months.
Coach has an enterprise value of $12.3 billion, which would make any takeover an extremely big deal for the fashion industry, although low interest rates have helped make it relatively easy for big investors to borrow large sums of money cheaply, a fact that no doubt helped buttress the rumor.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 1.6 percent, or 10.86 points, to 703.33, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.3 percent, or 175.24 points, to 14,075.37.
The other fashion gainers included Sears Holdings Corp.,up 4.5 percent to $47.47; Tumi Holdings Inc., 3.7 percent to $23.06; Aéropostale Inc., 3.6 percent to $13.23; Lululemon Athletica Inc., 2.7 percent to $67.72, and Nordstrom Inc., 2.6 percent to $53.90.
The Dow briefly traded as at 14,104.86 — a level not seen since 2007.
The market took a hit earlier this week when inconclusive elections in Italy sparked fears that the region’s debt crisis would flare up again. Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke, however, helped calm nerves in Congressional testimony, standing by policies that pump money into the economy to help the recovery.
In Europe, stocks bounced back from Tuesday’s steep sell off sparked by the Italian elections. The CAC 40 in Paris led markets higher, gaining 1.9 percent to 3,691.48, and Milan’s FTSE MIB advanced 1.6 percent to 15,801.26. Frankfurt’s DAX gained 1 percent to 7,675.83, while London’s FTSE 100 0.9 percent to 6,325.88.
The euro traded at $1.31 against the dollar, while the pound was worth $1.52.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the day’s biggest gainers including Marks & Spencer, up 2.1 percent to 3.70 pounds; Tod’s, 1.7 percent to 109 euros, and PPR, which was up 1.4 percent to 169.30 euros.
Among those losing ground were Mulberry, which dropped 1.8 percent to 13.28 pounds, and Yoox, 1.4 percent to 13.89 euros.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye