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.
“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