U.S. stocks fell today as investors poured over the minutes of last month’s meeting of Federal Reserve officials, who had a weaker reading in the economy.
The S&P Retail Index fell 0.9 percent, or 5.21 points, to 606.47, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.4 percent, or 48.59 points, to 12,604.53.
The decliners included Guess Inc., down 6.6 percent to $26.91; True Religion Apparel Inc., 6.5 percent to $26.78; Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 4.5 percent to $40.69; Macy’s Inc., 4.2 percent to $33.15; PVH Corp., 3.9 percent to $75.52, and Ralph Lauren Corp. 3.4 percent to $138.78.
“Factors that tend to support households’ expenditures were, on balance, a little softer in recent months,” noted Fed officials at the meeting on monetary policy. “The estimated level of households’ real disposable income was revised down for the fourth quarter of last year. Moreover, real disposable income rose at a subdued pace in the first quarter of this year, though it received some boost from lower energy prices in April.”
In Europe, retail and luxury stocks were mostly down after Burberry said sales growth slowed in the first quarter. The British brand reported an 11.2 percent rise in revenues for the three months to June 30, compared with a 16.1 percent increase in the fourth quarter. The quarter is a traditionally tough one for the brand, and declines came partly from strategic choices that Burberry made with regard to distribution and pricing, but also from a difficult macro-environment. Until now, the luxury sector has proved particularly robust compared with other sectors such as general retail.
Burberry sank 7.4 percent to 11.89 pounds. Also losing ground were Ferragamo, down 6.6 percent to 14.99 euros; Tod’s 4.8 percent to 72.15 euros; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 3.2 percent to 116.65 euros, and PPR, 3.5 percent to 109.50 euros. The euro traded at $1.23, while the pound traded at $1.55.
The DAX in Frankfurt closed up 0.2 percent to 6,453.85, followed by the FTSE 100 in London, which edged up 0.01 percent to 5,664.48. The CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.6 percent to 3,157.25, while the FTSE MIB in Milan was down 0.1 percent to 13,861.42.