U.S. retail stocks closed out the week with small declines as wintry weather limited both volume on Wall Street and commercial activity throughout much of the Northeast.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group spent much of the day in positive territory but finished down 0.2 percent at 934.76. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a 0.2 percent gain to 16,469.99, while the S&P 500 was off less than 0.1 percent to 1,831.37.
While retailers wondered whether the storm that barreled into the Northeast on Thursday night would limit clearance selling over the weekend, investors weighed the words of outgoing Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who said that the Fed’s tapering of its bond-buying program didn’t signal a retreat from economic stimulus.
Shares of Rite Aid Corp. shot up 8.5 percent to $5.47 after it reported a 2.9 percent increase in its same-store sales for December. Shares of American Apparel Inc. picked up 6.7 percent to $1.27, while Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. enjoyed a 5.8 percent gain to close the trading day at $3.64.
On the opposite end of the ledger, Christopher & Banks Corp. shares were off 7.8 percent to $7.88 and Zale Corp., up strongly in several recent sessions, shed 4.6 percent to $15.40. Vince Holding Corp. shares were down 2.1 percent, to $29.32, following the company’s disclosure of third-quarter results, covering a period just before its initial public offering, that were generally consistent with or slightly better than analysts’ expectations.
Europe’s indices all ended the week on an up note.
The FTSE MIB in Milan gained the most, rising 1 percent to 19,112.65, while the CAC 40 in Paris closed up 0.5 percent to 4,247.65. The DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.4 percent to 9,435.15, while the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.2 percent to 6,730.67.
Retailers continued to lead the increases in London. Robust holiday trading figures from Next made the retailer the top performer in the FTSE 100 Friday, with its shares rising 11.7 percent to 60.85 pounds. Next reported that sales in the period from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 rose 11.9 percent compared to the same period last year. The retailer also raised its pretax profit forecast for the year ending Jan. 25 to between 684 million and 700 million pounds, or $1.13 billion to $1.16 billion.
That news sent shares of other British retailers up by the close of trading. Asos.com gained 3.5 percent to 67.05 pounds, while Marks & Spencer rose 2 percent to 4.35 pounds. Even Debenhams, which had issued a profit warning earlier in the week, rose 3.9 percent to 78 pence.
Among the few European fashion stocks that lost ground Friday were Prada, which fell 1.2 percent to 68.80 Hong Kong dollars; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, down 0.2 percent to 131 euros, and Kering, which slipped 0.4 percent to 153.20 euros.
The pound traded at $1.65 against the U.S. dollar, while the euro traded for $1.37 and the Hong Kong dollar for 13 cents.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia