U.S. retail stocks took a step back Wednesday after six consecutive positive trading days as uncertainty about the Federal Reserve’s plans continued to weigh on the overall market.
The S&P Retailing Industry Group was off 1.3 percent to 836.47, ending a run of six sessions in which it had risen to record levels. In the broader market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 logged their third consecutive day of declines, dropping 0.3 and 0.4 percent, respectively, to 15,470.67 and 1,690.91 as investors worried about the timing and scope of reductions in the Fed’s stimulus program.
Among retail, apparel and beauty stocks tracked by WWD, the biggest decline came from Ralph Lauren Corp., with shares off 8.6 percent, to $173.13, after the New York-based firm reported a 6.2 percent drop in net income.
Shares of J.C. Penney Co. finished the day down 3.6 percent, to $12.80, after rumors swirled that chief financial officer Ken Hannah would step down. The company described the reports as “completely false.”
Among a handful of gainers in the fashion world, Tumi Holdings Inc. and The Wet Seal Inc. logged the biggest advances, with shares up 3 and 1.2 percent, respectively, to $25.44 and $4.29.
European stock markets put on a mixed show at the close of trading on Wednesday, with the FTSE 100 in London losing the most ground.
The British market was down 1.4 percent to 6,511.21, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, which fell 0.5 percent to 8,260.48. The FTSE MIB in Milan, meanwhile, was up 0.9 percent to 16,837.95 while the CAC 40 in Paris advanced 0.2 percent to 4,038.49.
The euro traded at $1.33 against the dollar, while the pound fetched $1.54, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.08.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with a few exceptions. Among the stocks that gained ground were Metro AG, up 1.1 percent to 28.01 euros; Brunello Cucinelli, 1.7 percent to 20.85 euros; and Aeffe, 1.2 percent to 0.56 euros.
Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Beiersdorf, down 3.2 percent to 68.23 euros;Geox, 1.8 percent to 1.98 euros; Unilever, 2.2 percent to 29.59 euros; and Yoox.com, 2 percent to 25.11 euros.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast