Wall Street’s fortunes rose as tensions in Ukraine abated, helping to lift retail stocks to their third consecutive day of gains.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.3 percent to 929.86. That performance lagged behind the gains posted by the S&P 500, up 0.7 percent to 1,872.25, and Dow Jones Industrial Average, up 0.6 percent to 16,336.19.
Russian President Vladimir Putin reduced international anxiety considerably when he said he does not plan to seize further areas of Ukraine or “partition” the country. Putin made the comments as he signed a bill with Crimea’s leaders in which Crimea was absorbed as part of Russia.
That helped lift European markets as they ended their trading day and put U.S. markets, including retail shares, into positive territory.
Among retail, fashion and beauty issues tracked by WWD, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. logged one of the day’s biggest gains, rising 6.4 percent to $3 in advance of its fourth-quarter earnings release as the markets closed. With its fourth-quarter loss lower than anticipated, shares continued to move upward in after-hours trading, rising an additional 6.7 percent to $3.20 within 20 minutes of the markets’ close.
Another struggling teen retailer, Aéropostale Inc., saw shares advance 5.2 percent to $5.91. Elizabeth Arden Inc. and Fossil Group Inc. had identical 4.6 percent increases to $31.24 and $118.04, respectively.
Among retailers in decline were The Wet Seal Inc., down 7.1 percent to $1.70, and Delia’s Inc., off 2.6 percent to $1.13. Both are scheduled to report quarterly financial results after the market closes on Thursday.
Shares of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. lost 3.5 percent to close at $8.39.
Despite difficulties for Europe’s online retailers, the continent’s markets all ended the day ahead.
The CAC 40 in Paris gained the most, rising 1 percent to 4,313,26, followed by the FTSE MIB in Milan, up 0.9 percent to 21,038.03. The DAX in Frankfurt rose 0.7 percent to 9,242.55, while the FTSE 100 in London was up 0.6 percent to 6,605.28.
It was a largely positive day for fashion and retail stocks, although online retailers suffered declines after Asos.com’s trading update for the two months to Feb. 28 disappointed investors, sending shares down 17 percent to 52.50 pounds at the close. While Asos's revenues climbed 25.9 percent to 139.2 million pounds, or $229.7 million, in the two months to Feb. 28, the company’s announced increase in capital expenditure for the year and a forecast reduction in its operating margin for the year troubled investors.
Other online retailers also fell — Boohoo.com lost 12.4 percent to 58 pence while Koovs dipped 2.4 percent to 1.82 pounds and Yoox fell 3.3 percent to 28.14 euros.
Among the stocks that rose were Safilo Group, up 4.4 percent to 15.06 euros; Ferragamo, which gained 1.9 percent to 21.40 euros; Gemfields, up 1.3 percent to 36 pence, and French Connection, up 3.8 percent to 61 pounds.
The pound traded for $1.66 against the U.S. dollar while the euro went for $1.39.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews