U.S. retail stocks retreated rapidly in late afternoon trading today, sending the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group down 1.1 percent to 850.72.
Although the decline was greater, the retail index followed a trajectory similar to those of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500, both of which finished just slightly above their lows for the session. The Dow shed 101.47 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 16,613.97, while the S&P gave back 8.92 points, or 0.5 percent, to end the day at 1,888.55.
Running contrary to the trend, shares of Cache Inc. rose 36 cents, or 25.7 percent, to $1.76 during the session, while Kate Spade & Co. advanced 8.5 percent to $37.60 as it swung to a profit in the first quarter with a 33.5 percent revenue gain.
Among the retail, fashion and beauty issues tracked by WWD, the largest decline came from Fossil Group Inc., with shares down 10.3 percent to $100, after it late Tuesday provided bearish guidance for the second quarter and full year despite an 8.2 percent increase in first-quarter profits along with a 14 percent increase in sales.
Macy’s Inc., which reported lower revenues coupled with higher — and better than expected — earnings, was virtually unchanged for the day, closing at $57.83.
Major exchanges in Europe hovered close to their starting points for the day, with the FTSE MIB in Milan down 0.3 percent to 21,184.60 and the CAC 40 in Paris off 0.1 percent to 4,501.04. The DAX in Frankfurt was flat, closing at 9,754.39, while the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.1 percent to end the session at 6,878.49.
European fashion, luxury and retail stocks struggled, with Yoox Group down 3.4 percent to 22.46 euros; Safilo Group slipping 3 percent to 15.86 euros; Mulberry off 1.2 percent to 7.21 pounds, and Ted Baker retreating 1.6 percent to 17.65 pounds.
The few that notched up gains included Ferragamo, which climbed 2.2 percent to 23.29 euros; Italia Independent Group, which rose 0.5 percent to 36.70 euros, and Next, up 0.5 percent to 65.64 pounds.
Boohoo.com ended up 0.1 percent at 50 pence after Investec in London began coverage of the stock with a “buy” rating, saying the online retailer has “an underrated competitive advantage in sourcing and supply chain, operating in a market with attractive structural growth globally.”
The pound traded for $1.69 against the U.S. dollar Wednesday, while the euro went for $1.37.