Retail stocks took a walloping in midday trading on Wall Street today as weaker-than-expected U.S. payroll gains only worsened the headache brought on by Thursday's lukewarm same-store sales reports.
At 1 p.m., the S&P Retail Index was down 1.8 percent, or 11.40 points, to 638.38, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.2 percent, or 163.63 points, to 13,042.96.
Investors have been pushing up stocks this year on the premise that the long climb back after the recession, if maddeningly slow, was on track. That belief was based in large part on solid improvement in the employment scene.
But the economy added just 115,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department. Economists were looking for a brisker gain of 163,000 new jobs. April sales rose just 0.6 percent according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Bebe Stores Inc. took the biggest hit in retail, falling 19.9 percent to $6.44. The chain posted a $214,000 third-quarter loss and its outlook for the rest of the year disappointed. The company said fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations would range from 2 cents to 4 cents a share — below the 9 cent profit analysts expected.
Also declining were Warnaco Group Inc., down 6.2 percent to $47.97; Guess Inc., 5.3 percent to $27.96; PVH Corp., 4.9 percent to $86.49; Michael Kors Holdings, 4.8 percent to $43.77, and Tumi Holdings Inc., 4.6 percent to $23.27.
Tilly’s Inc., the California specialty chain, was trading at $17.09 in its first day of trading. The stock reached a high of $19.29 shortly after the opening bell and is still well above the initial price of $11.50 to $13.50 the company was targeting earlier in the week.
In Europe, markets ended the week in decline as France and Greece headed into pivotal elections this weekend and April data showed a sharp downturn in output across the euro zone.
The DAX in Frankfurt sank 2 percent to 6,561.47 following Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index report that output in Germany hit a five-month low. The CAC 40 in Paris fell 1.9 percent to 3,161.97, also following Markit’s report of a drop in output.
The FTSE 100 in London sank 1.9 percent to 5,655.06 while the FTSE MIB in Milan fell 1.4 percent to 13,918.57.
“Business and consumer confidence appears to have deteriorated markedly across the region since the uplift seen at the start of the year, suggesting that stimulus measures implemented by the European Central Bank have not had a lasting impact on the real economy,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit.
Confidence also fell back further in April, he said.
“Little can be said to remain of any ‘core’ of strength in the region," he said. "Growth has practically ground to a halt even in Germany, and France has joined Italy and Spain in seeing a strong rate of economic decline.”
Among the retail and luxury stocks losing ground were Burberry Group, down 3.5 percent to 14.83 pounds; Yoox, 5.5 percent to 10.23 euros; Mulberry Group, 3.3 percent to 23.90 pounds, and Hugo Boss, 4.5 percent to 82.01 euros.
Among the few stocks that gained ground today was newcomer Brunello Cucinelli, which rose 1.5 percent rise to 11.16 euros.
The euro traded at $1.31 while the pound traded at $1.62.
“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