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.
@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