A strong jobs report offset news of growth in the trade deficit Wednesday, allowing U.S. retail stocks to eke out small gains in a short trading day ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group managed to add 0.1 percent, or 0.95 points, to close at 801.26 Wednesday. That was weaker than the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 0.4 percent, or 56.14 point, advance to 14,988.55. The Dow briefly scaled the 15,000 mark late in the morning before retreating just shy of it at the 1 p.m. close.
The S&P 500 was essentially flat, ending the day up less than 0.1 percent at 1,615.41.
U.S. equities were lifted by the ADP National Employment Report showing that private employers added 188,000 jobs in June, better than the 160,000 expected by analysts and well above the 134,000 positions added in May. Weekly jobless claims fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, according to the Labor Department. Wall Street is anxious to hear the government’s take on June employment, which is expected on Friday.
Investors were initially bearish during Wednesday’s session as the nation’s trade deficit in May rose 12.1 percent to $45 billion, with a drop in exports and an increase in oil imports accounting for most of the widening in the gap.
Among fashion, retail and beauty stocks, Delia’s Inc. led gainers, advancing 6 percent to $1.06, followed by Christopher & Banks Corp., ahead 2.7 percent to $6.27. Revlon Inc. shares rose 2.7 percent to $23.24.
Among the specialty retailers shedding at least 1 percent Wednesday were American Apparel Inc., down 2.2 percent to $1.81; Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., down 1.8 percent to $3.90, and L Brands Inc., down 1.2 percent to $49.20. Avon Products Inc. was down 1.6 percent to $20.94.
European stock markets ended the day on a down note, led by the FTSE 100 in London, which slid 1.2 percent to 6,229.87.
The CAC 40 in Paris, meanwhile, fell 1.1 percent to 3,702.01, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, down 1 percent to 7,829.32, and the FTSE MIB in Milan, off 0.5 percent to 15,282.81.
The euro traded at $1.30 against the dollar, while the pound fetched $1.52 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.06.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with exceptions including Mulberry Group, which advanced 4 percent to 9.24 pounds, and Tod’s, up 1.5 percent to 111.50 euros.
Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Burberry Group, which sank 2.5 percent to 13.70 pounds; Brunello Cucinelli, down 3.4 percent to 20 euros; and Gemfields, off 2.8 percent to 0.22 pounds.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)