The reelection of President Obama freed Wall Street to worry in earnest about the looming fiscal cliff as well as the euro zone crisis and the general global economic malaise.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday sank back below 13,000, falling 2.4 percent, or 312.95 points, to 12,932.73 as the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fared somewhat better, declining 1.5 percent, or 9.82 points, to 649.15.
Among the fashion and related companies getting hit the hardest were Tumi Holdings Inc., down 5.1 percent to $21.75; The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., 5 percent to $11.97; Elizabeth Arden Inc., 4.7 percent to $46.61; Tiffany & Co., 3.7 percent to $62.92, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 3.5 percent to $32.84.
Obama logged a decisive win in the electoral college, but still faces a divided legislative branch. Together the two sides will face automatic tax increases and spending cuts at the end of this year — what Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke dubbed the “fiscal cliff.” Should the taxes kick in without modification, many see dire consequences for the U.S. economy, which is already limping along and being propped up by Fed debt purchases and ultralow interest rates.
“The political landscape has changed little after the elections,” said Nigel Gault, IHS Global Insight’s chief U.S. economist. “Some uncertainties, over health care reform and the Federal Reserve, have been cleared up by President Obama’s reelection. But crucial uncertainties over fiscal policy remain just as severe as before.”
Gault noted the Obama victory means his health care program will stay in place and that there won’t be big changes at the Fed.
“But the key uncertainties over the future of fiscal policy remain in place,” he said. “Divided government, as before, could be a recipe for complete gridlock.”
Markets were also down in Europe, where investors were closely watching the U.S. election.
Milan’s FTSE MIB fell 2.5 percent to 15,291.78, as Frankfurt’s DAX declined 2 percent to 7,232.83, Paris’ CAC 40 dropped 2 percent to 3,409.59, and London’s FTSE 100 retreated 1.6 percent to 5,791.63.
The decliners included Burberry Group, down 2.8 percent to 12.17 pounds, or $19.45 at current exchange; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 2.4 percent to 125.90 euros, or $160.73; Marks and Spencer Group plc, down 2 percent to 3.91 pounds, or $6.25, and PPR, 1.8 percent to 134.20 euros, or $171.33.
@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