In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.1 percent to 14,615.04, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong increased 0.3 percent to 21,371.87.
In Europe, the FTSE MIB in Milan led the charge, up 1.1 percent to 15,695.03, while the Dax in Frankfurt gained 0.7 percent to 8,254.72. The CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.6 percent to 3,872.02, followed by the FTSE 100 in London, up 0.2 percent to 6,571.93.
Most luxury and retail stocks were up, with the exception of a few, such as Safilo Group, which lost 2.74 percent to 15.29 euros, and Yoox SpA, down 1.3 percent to 19.75 euros. Among those gaining ground were Marks and Spencer Group plc, up 2.8 percent to 4.74 pounds, and Kering, rising 1.7 percent to 169.50 euros.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 percent to 15,470.52, while the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.3 percent to 840.89.
Although Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke said in testimony on Capital Hill today that tapering on economic stimulus measures could likely begin later this year, he also told Congress the reductions were “by no means on a preset course.” He emphasized the Fed’s flexibility and that any pull back on its bond purchases would depend on improvement in the economy.
That seemed to ease concerns by investors who had been afraid that any reduction would occur on a bigger scale. Those concerns that tapering could even begin as early as September led to the stock market pullback last month.
In Wednesday’s trading session, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. gained the most at 5.8 percent to $4.21, while Tilly’s Inc. lost 4.1 percent to $16.01. Outside of the teen space, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. slid 3.3 percent to $16.56.
@deciem is all about transparency and approachability. At this year’s WWD Digital Beauty Forum, the brand's co-CEO @nicolakilner said talking to customers directly about the ingredients in products and how they work is key. #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty
‘We didn't know how relevant our film would be when we were making it. When Steven [Rogers] wrote the script Trump wasn't president, class divide in America wasn't as evident as it is now, though it was present. The Time’s Up movement hadn't began and the way we look at women and treat women who speak out — thankfully that is something that seems to have shifted in the last year. I think we just need to continue making art that provokes the conversation and do what we can,’ said ‘I, Tonya’ actress @margotrobbie. Head to WWD.com to see all the celebrities who walked the red carpet @bafta #timesup #wwdeye (📸: Neil Hall)
Gemma Arterton is joined on the @bafta’s red carpet by Eileen Pullen and Gwen Davis, the two women who started the fight for the pay-gap. ‘They represent a normal person speaking out for what is right. Speak out, we will listen and anyone can speak out,’ said Arterton. #eebaftas #timesup #wwdeye (📸: David Fisher)
On the list of emerging designers to watch at London Fashion Week is @nabilnayal. The Syrian-Born and raised designer – who is known for his sculptural and dramatic designs with an Elizabethan era aesthetic – said he designs for a woman who is not afraid to challenge conventions. To see which other up-and-coming talents are joining the schedule this season, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion #lfw (📷: @gomezdevillaboa)