Investors breathed a sigh of relief as soft fourth-quarter earnings reports from retailers including Target Corp. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. were better than many had feared and analysts had projected.
The procession of not-as-bad-as-expected news continued after the markets closed as J.C. Penney Co. Inc. posted a fourth-quarter profit that, on an adjusted basis, translated into a smaller loss than the consensus estimate of analysts.
Up nearly 2 percent in midday trading, the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group finished the session at 933.16, up 1.4 percent, for its fifth consecutive trading day of gains. That was its highest closing mark since it ended at 934.76 on Jan. 3.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1 percent to 16,198.41 while the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged at 1,845.16.
Delia’s Inc. was the single biggest advancer among the retail, fashion and beauty stocks tracked by WWD, rising 24.2 percent to $1.20. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. managed the second largest gain,11.3 percent to close at $40.04, as its 58 percent decline in fourth-quarter profits, to $1.34 a share on an adjusted basis, was 31 cents better than analysts’ expectations.
Similarly, Target Corp. also rallied, with shares up 7 percent to $60.49, after its 46 percent drop in quarterly earnings was in line with its most recent projections.
However, The TJX Cos. Inc. saw its shares drop 1.2 percent to $60.29 when, despite higher revenues, its EPS for the quarter fell 1 cent shy of consensus estimates.
Penney’s reported its results after the close of the markets. Shares were up 5.3 percent to $5.96 before their release and an additional 3.9 percent, to $6.19, in the immediate aftermath.
Among those with declines, shares of Coldwater Creek Inc. fell 6.4 percent to 78 cents on the day while Birks Group Inc. surrendered 4.1 percent to close at $1.18.
European stock markets dipped into negative territory on concerns about growth in emerging markets, with London’s FTSE 100 leading the way.
The British market was down 0.5 percent to 6,799.15, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris and the DAX in Frankfurt, which both fell 0.4 percent to 4,396.91 and to 9,661.73 respectively. The FTSE MIB in Milan was also down 0.4 percent, to 20,398.10.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the exception of Moncler, which ticked up 1.5 percent to 13.40 euros; Gemfields, 2.1 percent to 36 pence, and Aeffe, 1.4 percent to 0.85 euros.
Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Kering, 2.2 percent to 149.60 euros; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 1.6 percent to 135.15 euros; Metro AG, 1.4 percent to 31.34 euros, and L’Oréal, 1.3 percent to 123.55 euros.
The euro traded at $1.37 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound fetched $1.67, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.13.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews