Retail stocks pulled off their first winning week of the year after advancing 1.6 percent today.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 14.21 points to 885.86, lifting its string of up days to four. The advance for the week was 2.1 percent over last Friday’s close and reduced the losses for the year so far to a 5.7 percent decline.
For the day and the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 managed smaller gains but are off less for the year to date. The Dow rose 1.1 percent to 15,794.08 while the S&P picked up 1.3 percent to 1,797.02. The Dow was up 0.6 percent for the week and is now 4.7 percent down for the year, while the S&P’s weekly advanced was 0.8 percent, reducing its 2014 decline to 2.8 percent.
Retail stocks appeared to be on an upswing as fears about the damage done by inclement weather and promotional activity was assuaged by January and fourth-quarter sales results released by retailers including Kohl’s Corp., Ann Inc., Gap Inc. and L Brands Inc. on Thursday.
Among the strongest retailer performers for the day were Bebe Stores Inc., up 14.6 percent to $5.42 after it reported a smaller second-quarter loss than analysts expected; Gap Inc., up 5.8 percent to $42 principally on better than anticipated January comparable-store sales results, and Ann Inc., up 2.3 percent to $33.41 in the aftermath of an end-of-year update in which it reported “lower than anticipated” fourth-quarter results but projected gross margin improvement in the months ahead.
While American Apparel Inc. late Thursday reported that its same-store sales were down 4 percent in January and its online sales off 6 percent, investors were optimistic that its difficult transition to a new distribution center was largely behind it and sent shares up 1.8 percent to 95 cents.
Brean Capital analyst Eric Beder commented that “the company's distribution center debacle now appears to be behind them and we believe, with management fully focused on operations, that the potential to shift back to positive same store sales and results, especially with key fashion shifts to their bread-and-butter looks, is rapidly improving.” He maintained his “buy” rating and $2.50 target price on the stock.
Among those losing ground were J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Stein Mart Inc., both down 2.7 percent, to $5.51 and $12.11, respectively.
Investors largely shrugged off both the disappointing number of jobs created — 113,000 — in January and the reduction in the unemployment rate — to 6.6 percent — in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report.
European stock markets also ended the week on a high, locking in modest gains at the close of trading.
The FTSE MIB in Milan and the CAC 40 in Paris were both up 1 percent, to 19,692.08 and to 4,228.18, respectively, while the DAX in Frankfurt advanced 0.5 percent to 9,301.92. The FTSE 100, meanwhile, was up 0.2 percent to 6,571.68. Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with a few exceptions. Hugo Boss, which reported a 7 percent increase in operating profit for 2013, fell 1.7 percent to 93.10 euros, while Tod’s sank 2 percent to 96.80 euros and Moncler was down 1 percent to 13.56 euros.
Among the stocks gaining the most were Aeffe, 3 percent to 0.77 euros; Gemfields, 3.3 percent to 35 pence, and Bonmarche Holding, 1.2 percent to 2.87 euros.
The euro traded at $1.35 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound fetched $1.63 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.11.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)