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.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty