U.S. retail stocks posted a modest decline, falling 0.2 percent, as investors waivered in the face of weak economic signals from around the globe.
The S&P Retail Index declined 1.43 points to 665.66 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average staged rallied back from earlier declines to close up 0.1 percent, or 18.97 points, to 13,596.93.
Shares of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. fell 11.2 percent to $25.83 as investors bet on market reaction to an update from chief executive officer Ron Johnson. Shares briefly spiked 12 percent Wednesday as Johnson expanded on his vision for the chain, which has seen its business drop off dramatically as it transforms into a specialty department store concept.
Also declining were Sears Holdings Corp., down 6.7 percent to $57.46; The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., 5.6 percent to $10.78, and Iconix Brand Group Inc., 4.6 percent to $18.33.
Markets fell in Europe. The FTSE MIB in Milan was hit the hardest, closing down 1.7 percent to 15,830.28, while the CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.6 percent to 3,509.92. The FTSE 100 in London closed down 0.6 percent to 5,854.64, while the DAX in Frankfurt slipped just 0.02 percent to 7,389.49. Negative economic data from both China and Japan weighed on investors.
Japan said imports and exports had both declined during August, and a manufacturing index from China showed that manufacturing activity slowed in September for the eleventh consecutive month. And Markit’s euro zone Purchasing Managers’ Index showed the area’s output fell to 45.9 in September from 46.3 in August. The survey indicated that the euro zone’s private sector had contracted in September at its fastest rate since June 2009.
Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said: “We had hoped that the news regarding the [European Central Bank’s] intervention to alleviate the debt crisis would have lifted business confidence, but instead sentiment appears to have taken a turn for the worse, with businesses the most gloomy since early 2009, due to ongoing headwinds from slower global growth.”
It was a mostly downbeat day for fashion, luxury and retail stocks. The decliners included Safilo Group, down 4.2 percent to 5.88 euros; Yoox, 2.2 percent to 10.03 euros; Burberry, slid 2.2 percent to 10.37 pounds, and Richemont, 1.6 percent to 60.20 Swiss francs.
Among the few risers were Inditex, up 1.8 percent to 97 euros; Marks & Spencer, 1 percent to 3.71 pounds, and Hermès International, up 0.5 percent to 217.05 euros.
The pound traded for $1.62 against the dollar, while the euro went for $1.30 and the Swiss franc for $1.08.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
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Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
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According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)