Indications of a willingness to avoid military action in Ukraine from Russian president Vladimir Putin helped equity markets in the U.S. and Europe bounce back Tuesday.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 1 percent to 941.46 after declining 0.5 percent Monday. The broader S&P 500 hit an all-time high of 1,876.23 in midday trading before closing up 1.5 percent at 1,873.88, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed a 1.4 percent gain to 16,395.37.
The S&P and Dow Monday fell 0.7 and 0.9 percent, respectively, as tensions escalated and Russian troops took up positions in Crimea.
The Obama administration disclosed plans for a $1 billion in energy subsidies for the embattled former Soviet Socialist Republic. Largely overlooked with the world’s attention centered on the Black Sea was the $3.9 trillion U.S. budget for fiscal 2015 submitted by the Obama administration.
Among U.S. fashion, retail and beauty stocks tracked by WWD, the strongest performance came from American Apparel Inc., up 15.6 percent to 87 cents and now 58.2 percent above the 52-week low of 55 cents hit on Feb. 21 as talk of a possible restructuring of the vertical retailer surfaced.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. shares rallied 6.7 percent to $41.68 following an upgrade to “outperform” from “neutral” by Credit Suisse. J.C. Penney Co. Inc. continued its recent upward trajectory, rising 4.2 percent to $8.29. Shares hit a 52-week low of $4.90 on Feb. 5, prior to the company’s disclosure of better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on Feb. 26.
Among only a handful of retailers to see their shares descend was Ascena Retail Group Inc. The stock fell 3.2 percent, to $18.26, in the aftermath of its report late Monday of lower second-quarter earnings and weak second-half guidance.
Stock markets in Europe closed their day on a high note, after Putin said he would only use force in Ukraine as a last resort and dialed down the anxiety levels of the past few days.
Milan’s FTSE MIB led the upswing, rising 3.6 percent to 20,475.12, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris and the DAX in Frankfurt, which both advanced 2.5 percent to 4,395.90 and to 9,589.15 respectively.
The FTSE 100 in London, meanwhile, rose 1.7 percent to 6,823.77.
Retail and luxury stocks were very much on board for the rally, with the biggest advances coming from companies including Ferragamo, 3.8 percent to 23.23 euros; Unilever, 3.1 percent to 28.83 euros; French Connection, 3.7 percent to 56 pence, and Debenhams, 4.3 percent to 78 pence.
The euro traded at $1.38 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound fetched $1.67 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.14.