Stocks gave back some recent gains today, with retail shares ending a string of six consecutive days of advances.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group was off 0.4 percent to 888.66 for its first decline since Feb. 3. The major indices weathered smaller descents as the Dow Jones Industrial Average surrendered 0.2 percent to end the day at 15,963.94 and the S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 percent to 1,819.26.
After clearing the House of Representatives on Tuesday, a bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling cleared the Senate Wednesday by a 55-43 vote. That clears the way for President Obama’s signature and avoids another episode of Congressional gridlock such as the one that led to last October’s government shutdown.
Among those gaining traction during the session were watchmakers Movado Group Inc., up 6.5 percent to $41, and Fossil Group Inc., up 3.5 percent to $121.06. Fossil late Tuesday reported fourth-quarter profits well in excess of those expected by analysts and also forecast strong top-line growth in the year ahead.
Also advancing was Citi Trends Inc., which reported reductions in markdowns and inventory at the close of the fourth quarter despite declines in sales during the period. Shares rose 4.6 percent to $16.08.
The steepest decline among fashion, retail and beauty stocks tracked by WWD came from Joe’s Jeans Inc., with shares down 4.6 percent to $1.26 in advance of its fourth-quarter financial report late Thursday. Shares of Amazon.com Inc. fell 3.5 percent to $349.25 while Aérospotale Inc.’s shed 3.3 percent to close at $6.44.
European stock markets made gains at the close of trading on Wednesday, led by the FTSE MIB in Milan, which was up 1.3 percent to 20,144.96.
The DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.7 percent to 9,540.00, while the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.5 percent to 4,305.50, and the FTSE 100 in London rose just 0.04 percent to 6,675.03.
Retail and luxury stocks put on a mixed show, with the day’s biggest gainers including Yoox.com, 2.1 percent to 30.99 euros; Moncler, 2.3 percent to 14.19 euros; Metro AG, 2.5 percent to 31.73 euros; Bonmarché Holding, 4.1 percent to 2.95 pounds, and Italia Independent, 4.1 percent to 37.50 euros.
Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Kering, 1.2 percent to 154.10 euros; L’Oréal, 1.4 percent to 123.05 euros, and French Connection Group, 1.6 percent to 0.46 pounds.
The euro traded at $1.37 against the U.S. dollar while the pound fetched $1.64 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.12.
“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