Major indices on both sides of the Atlantic registered gains today on signs of rising consumer sentiment.
With volume light on the day before Thanksgiving, the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 0.5 percent to 930, outpacing the gains of 0.2 and 0.3 percent, respectively, logged by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500, which ended the day at 16,097.33 and 1,807.23.
Investors felt optimistic after data showed consumer sentiment in the U.S. and Germany on the upswing. After The Conference Board Tuesday reported that its Consumer Confidence Index fell to its lowest level since April, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan U.S. consumer sentiment index rose to 75.1 in November from 73.2 in October. Nuremberg-based research company GfK AG projected that German consumer confidence will climb to 7.4 in December from a revised 7.1 this month.
Among U.S. fashion, beauty and retail issues tracked by WWD, advancers outnumbered decliners by about a two-to-one margin.
The largest descent of the day came from Tilly’s Inc., shares of which dropped 24.4 percent to $12 following its disclosure late Tuesday that it expected comparable sales to decline in the fourth quarter, with earnings coming in well below year-ago levels and analysts’ estimates.
Other teen retailers joined in the sell-off. Shares of Zumiez Inc. dropped 5.4 percent to $27.89, Delia’s Inc. was off 4.6 percent to $1.24 and Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. declined 3.3 percent to $2.90. American Apparel Inc. and Aéropostale Inc. were down 2.5 and 1.9 percent on the day, to $1.17 and $9.84, respectively.
One day after The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. made its offer to acquire Jos. A. BankClothier’s Inc. for more than $1.5 billion, shares of MW rallied 2 percent, to $51.61 and Bank’s added 1.1 percent to close at $56.88, $1.68 above the price offered by MW.
With theofficial start of the holiday season just ahead, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. received a vote of investor confidence. Its shares led all others in the WWD sample with a 7.7 point rise to $10.08. Other notable increases came from Tumi Holdings(2.6 percent to $24), The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. (2.6 percent to $18.07), Vince Holding Corp. (2.4 percent to $29.70) and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (2.2 percent to $34.37).
Europe’s markets also closed on a high. The FTSE MIB in Milan led the way, rising 0.8 percent to 18,924.79, while the DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.7percent to 9,351.13, Paris’ CAC 40 gained 0.4 percent to 4,293.06 and London’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.2 percent to 6,649.47.
The euro traded at $1.35 against the dollar and the pound was worth $1.62.
Retail and luxury stocks echoed the positive outlook and closed the day mostly up. The day’s strongest gainers included Brunello Cucinelli, up 4 percent to 24.97 euros; Burberry, 2.6 percent to 15.27 pounds, andTod’s, 1.5 percent to 124.80 euros.
Among the few issues that dropped were Mulberry, down 3.8 percent to 10.09 pounds; Ferragamo, 1.3 percent to 28.77 euros, and Asos.com, 1.1 percent to 57.41 pounds.
U.S. markets will be closed Thursday for Thanksgiving and reopen with an abbreviated session on Friday.