U.S. retail shares were unable to break out of negative territory as Wall Street's major indices logged solid gains today.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell less than 0.1 percent to 922.06 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up 0.7 percent to 16,331.05 and the S&P 500 finished with a 0.6 percent increase at 1,872.01.
Investors shrugged off concerns about the vitality of China’s economy and word Wednesday of continuing reductions in bond buying by the Federal Reserve. Instead, they focused on a 0.5 percent gain in The Conference Board’s tally of leading economic indicators and, courtesy of the Fed, expanded manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area.
Burlington Stores Inc. led apparel, retail and beauty stocks tracked by WWD with a 15.8 percent increase in its shares, to $29.99, following a solid fourth-quarter earnings beat reported Thursday morning. Cato Corp. shares fell 12.9 percent to $26.21 after it reported a decline in fourth-quarter profits and forecast lower earnings for the first quarter.
“The company believes that 2014 could be another tough year,” the company said in its earnings report. “The sales environment may be difficult due to continuing slow job growth and higher costs which reduce our customers’ discretionary income.”
Shares of Guess Inc. were down 3.4 percent to $27.79 following the company’s guidance late Wednesday for a first-quarter loss. Fourth-quarter profits were down but ahead of analysts’ consensus estimates.
In Europe, markets were largely up at the close of trading.
The FTSE MIB in Milan led the increases, climbing 0.6 percent to 21,094.49, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, up 0.5 percent to 4,327.91 and the DAX in Frankfurt, which gained 0.2 percent to 9,296.12. Only the FTSE 100 in London was down, falling 0.5 percent to 6,542.44.
Among the stock winners was Mulberry, which climbed 5.3 percent in London to 6.70 pounds following word that the brand’s chief executive officer Bruno Guillon had resigned. During the executive’s tenure, Mulberry had issued a number of profit warnings and had seen its stock price dip.
Next gained 2.3 percent to 67.30 pounds after it reported an 8.8 percent rise in its net profits, to 553.2 million pounds, or $867.9 million, for the year. Ted Baker also rose, up 1.5 percent to 22.38 pounds, after the U.K. retailer recorded a 34 percent surge in net profits in the year ended Jan. 31 to 28.9 million pounds, or $45.1 million.
Among the stocks that fell in were Geox, down 2.4 percent to 3.29 euros; French Connection, which slipped 1.7 percent to 58 pence, and Inditex, down 0.9 percent to 107.10 euros.
The pound traded for $1.65 against the U.S. dollar, while the euro changed hands for $1.36.
@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