Retail shares and the major indices all held on to gains after the release of notes from the most recent meeting of the Federal Reserve indicated a slow increase in interest rates, and only when economic vitality is deemed sufficient to bear it.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group logged its second straight day of gains, growing 1.1 percent to 887.06. The percentage gain matched those of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which ended the day at 16,437.18, and the S&P 500, which ascended to 1,872.18.
With the positive finish Wednesday, the retail index again has as many sessions of gains this year, 34, as it does losses.
Shares of Chico’s FAS Inc. fell 2.7 percent to $16.52 after leaping 8.4 percent Tuesday following the disclosure by Leonard Green & Partners had taken a 1.3 percent stake in the retailer. That position was taken last year but reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
Lands’ End Inc. continued to struggle for stability, with shares dropping 2.6 percent to $26.63 while those of its former parent, Sears Holdings Corp., fell 2.8 percent to $35.97. Sears’ decline was the largest among U.S. fashion, retail and beauty stocks monitored by WWD.
Advances outpaced declines among the WWD sample by about a three-to-one margin. The biggest gain among retailers came from American Apparel Inc., up 7.3 percent to 51 cents, while Delia’s Inc. moved ahead 5.3 percent to 84 cents.
Coldwater Creek Inc. managed a gain as well, rising 3.9 percent to 23 cents despite ongoing talk of an imminent reorganization.
Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. shares were up 5.7 percent to $85.74 while G-III Apparel Group Ltd. and Destination XL Group Inc. shares rose 3.6 and 3.5 percent, respectively, to $74.83 and $5.59.
Kate Spade & Co. moved up 3.4 percent to $34.38 while Lululemon Athletica Inc. Under Armour Inc. both finished the day ahead 2.6 percent at $54.56 and $108.63, respectively.
Major European markets also finished the day with increases, led by the FTSE 100 in London, up 0.7 percent to 6,635.61. The CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.4 percent to 4,442.68 and both the DAX in Frankfurt and FTSE MIB in Milan registered 0.2 percent increases to respective marks of 9,506.35 and 21,717.02.
Fashion, luxury and retail stocks mirrored the markets’ gains.
On the rise were Yoox, up 6.4 percent to 24.97 euros; Mulberry, which rose 2.8 percent to 7.30 pounds; Safilo Group, which gained 3.5 percent to 15.11 euros; Boohoo.com, which climbed 2.9 percent to 51 pence, and Kering, up 3.7 percent to 149.95 euros.
Among the few stocks in the sector that fell in the day’s trading were Ted Baker, down 0.5 percent to 21 pounds; Aeffe, which dipped 1.7 percent to 0.83 euros, and Koovs, down 2.7 percent to 1.80 pounds.
The euro traded for $1.38 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound fetched $1.67.
Alberta Ferretti's "Rainbow Week" sweaters are back. The designer closed her #MFW show with a few day-of-the-week sweaters, which first debuted on the catwalk last January as part of the pre-fall 2017 collection. #wwdfashion (📷: @delphineachard)