Disappointing February job numbers froze the major indices’ performance but didn't stop retail stocks from advancing.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.3 percent to 944.05 on top of Tuesday’s 1 percent advance.
The Down Jones Industrial Average declined 0.2 percent to 16,360.18 while the S&P 500, coming off the all-time high reached Tuesday, ticked down less than 0.1 percent to 1,873.81.
Investors were disappointed by ADP’s report on February hiring, which pointed to the creation of 139,000 private-sector jobs last month, below the 158,000 expected by economists. As has been the case with a number of economic metrics, last month’s inclement weather in many parts of the country was cited as inhibiting hiring.
Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. were among the day’s strongest performers, with shares advancing 4 and 2.2 percent to $71.64 and $372.05, respectively.
Shares of Joe’s Jeans Inc. picked up 4 cents, enough for a 2.9 percent gain to $1.41, while Coldwater Creek Inc. shares grew 2.2 percent to 79 cents.
Equities in retreat included American Apparel Inc., down 2.8 percent to 85 cents, and Sears Holdings Corp., off 3.4 percent to $44.28.
Shares of Revlon Inc. were down 1.5 percent to $24.54 after the beauty firm reported a quarterly loss of $33.1 million stemming, in part, from its decision to exit China.
With tensions about Ukraine still simmering but stabilizing, most European markets dipped into negative territory at the close of trading, although Milan’s FTSE MIB was up 1.4 percent to 20,756.95. Investors were holding their fire in anticipation of a European Central Bank meeting set for Thursday, sending the FTSE 100 in London down 0.7 percent to 6,775.42; the DAX in Frankfurt down 0.5 percent to 9,542.02 and the CAC 40 in Paris down 0.1 percent to 4,391.25.
Retail and luxury stocks put on a mixed show, with the day’s biggest gainers including Safilo Group, up 6.6 percent to 17.22 euros, after it reported double-digit sales growth for its continuing operations and improvement in adjusted net income in the fourth quarter. Also trending upward were Mulberry Group, 2.5 percent to 6.56 pounds; French Connection Group, 5.6 percent to 57 pence, and Carrefour SA, 4.4 percent to 27.83 euros.
Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Kering, 2.1 percent to 145.90 euros; Beiersdorf AG, 2.9 percent to 71.42 euros, and Luxottica Group, 1.4 percent to 39.02 euros.
Shares of Yoox were off 1.5 percent to 30.53 euros despite its report of a 23.9 percent increase in 2013 profits and an upbeat view for 2014.
The euro traded at $1.37 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound fetched $1.67 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.13.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews