The price of Italian bonds remained unsettlingly high today, pressuring stock markets across Europe and Wall Street.
There were hopes last week that the resignation of Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi would go along way toward easing Europe's political problems and ultimately halt the roiling debt crisis.
But Italy paid a 6.29 percent yield on the 3 billion euros worth of 5-year bonds it sold Monday.
That's the highest rate that Italy has paid on its debt since 1997, according to the BBC.
Yields over 7 percent led to bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, but Italy is seen as too big for the European Union to rescue, making the country the debt crisis' current pivot point.
The FTSE 100 in London closed down 0.5 percent at 5,519.04, while the CAC 40 in Paris finished down 1.3 percent at 3,108.95. The DAX in Frankfurt fell 1.2 percent to 5,985.02 and the FTSE MIB in Milan slumped 2 percent to 15,464.45 points.
Fashion and luxury stocks were mixed in Europe. Marcolin fell 2.2 percent to 3.85 euros, and Hugo Boss dropped 4.7 percent to 64.95 euros following news that Permira had cut its stake in the company.
Those that rose included Burberry, which was up 3.2 percent at 14.30 pounds, and Ferragamo, which closed up 3.2 percent at 12.27 euros, following news of an 85 percent rise in its net profits in the first nine months of the year.
The euro traded for $1.38 Monday, while the pound traded for $1.61.
On Wall Street, the S&P Retail Index performed comparatively well, slipping just 0.2 percent, or 1.16 points, to 547.06, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell a slightly steeper 0.6 percent, or 74.70 points, to 12,078.98.
The retail decliners included J.C. Penney Co. Inc., which fell 2.8 percent to $32.98 after special charges led it to heavy third-quarter losses; Sears Holdings Corp., down 2.8 percent to $72.25, and Aéropostale Inc., off 1.7 percent to $16.72.
Investors are also fretting over a possible recession in Europe, which could cause troubles for the global economy as well.
Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, said industrial production in the Euro area fell 2 percent in September, compared with August, and fell 2.2 percent compared with a year earlier.
Although the decline was not as severe as some had forecast, commodities stocks such as Vedanta Resources and engineering solutions firm Weir Group were among the biggest decliners in the FTSE 100.
“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