U.S. retail shares enjoyed their first positive day of the new year today as major indices in the U.S. and Europe logged increases.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group progressed 0.4 percent to 931.08 after opening 2014 with three consecutive declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both were up 0.6 percent, to 16,530.94 and 1,837.88, respectively.
Markets were energized by news of a lower trade deficit in November, spurred by increases in exports. Apparel and textile imports were up 5.2 percent for the month, according to the U.S. Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel.
Among U.S. retail, fashion and beauty issues tracked by WWD, American Apparel Inc. registered the largest increase for the day, gaining 6.7 percent to $1.43. The stock has seen a nice run and increased 38.8 percent since hitting its recent low of $1.03 on Dec. 16. Zale Corp. registered the second-largest gain of the day, with shares up 3.7 percent to $15.96.
On the other side of the breakeven line, shares of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. fell 3.8 percent to $78.94 after Citigroup analyst Oliver Chen downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “buy” based on what he viewed as a fair valuation following a “60 percent stock run in 2013.”
Shares of Twitter Inc. continued their recent roller-coaster ride with a decline of 7.3 percent to $61.46. J.C. Penney Co. Inc. was off 5.5 percent to $8.19.
One day after launching a hostile takeover bid for rival Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., shares of The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. declined 0.2 percent to $51.56 while Bank’s surrendered 2.1 percent to close at $55.70. In a tender offer directed at Bank’s shareholders, Men’s Wearhouse boosted its bid to $57.50 a share, or about $1.61 billion.
In Europe, markets were buoyant following word of a larger-than-expected decline in German unemployment from the nation’s Federal Labor Agency.
Milan’s FTSE MIB led the region's charge with a 1.2 percent climb to 19,468.75 with Frankfurt’s DAX and Paris’s CAC 40 generating 0.8 percent increases to end the trading day at 9,506.20 and 4,262.68, respectively. In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent to 6,755.45.
Aeffe shares rose 6.8 percent to 0.90 euros while French Connection Group was up 4.5 percent to 36.59 euros, followed closely by Italia Independent Group, up 4 percent to 41 euros.
Shares of Moncler declined 2.6 percent to 15.40 euros while Swatch Group’s were off 2.3 percent to 98.85 Swiss francs.
The euro traded for $1.36 against the U.S. dollar and the Swiss franc for $1.10.
“I think what’s so interesting about the #MeToo movement and this whole new wave of feminism in general, is that women are finally seeing, ’Oh I can start my own company, oh I can lear to code, oh I can leave my nine-to-five job and do the thing I want to do,” said @brooklyndecker ahead of her @sxsw talk for @createcultivate. The former model took the stage to share wisdom about networking and female-driven entrepreneurship. #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.