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.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)