Retail shares outperformed the broader market today, sending the sector to its second-consecutive day of gains.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group registered a 0.5 percent gain to 852.02. The rise in retail came against the backdrop of a 0.2 percent decline for the S&P 500, to 1,751.64, and a decline of less than 0.1 percent for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which settled in at 15,440.23.
Having declined almost without interruption since the start of the year, the pick-up in retail stocks was generally viewed as a buying opportunity with little in the way macroeconomic news to help it along.
On Thursday, a small sample of retailers will report comparable sales results for January. With demand low, promotion levels high and weather unfavorable, monthly results are expected to be fair at best. Thomson Reuters projects a median increase of 1.9 percent among reporting companies, with apparel and particularly teen apparel projected to report decreases for the month.
Among retail, fashion and beauty equities tracked by WWD, Stein Mart Inc. registered one of the stronger increases, growing 5 percent to $12.29 in advance of its comp report Thursday. American Apparel Inc., also due to report, saw its shares rise 4.7 percent to 89 cents.
Also showing strength were two non-reporters, The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. and The TJX Cos. Inc., which were ahead 3.2 and 3.1 percent, respectively, to $46.93 and $57.79.
J.C. Penney Co. Inc., which dipped below $5 a share for a 52-week low on Tuesday, bounced back with a 2.8 percent advance to $5.22.
Among the decliners was Ralph Lauren Corp., which fell 3.6 percent to $148.71 after reporting better-than-expected third-quarter results but sounded a cautious note about operating margins in upcoming quarters. Both The Estée Lauder Cos. and Elizabeth Arden Inc. lost ground after logging declines in quarterly profits. Shares of Lauder dropped 5.5 percent to $65.36 and Arden’s were off 6.2 percent to $24.11.
Most European markets ended with marginal gains at the close of trading, but the DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.1 percent to 9,116.32.
The FTSE MIB in Milan rose 0.3 percent to 19,069.62, while the FTSE 100 in London was up 0.1 percent to 6,457.89, and the CAC 40 in Paris advanced less than 0.1 percent to 4,117.79.
The day’s biggest gainers in the fashion world included Mulberry Group, up 2.6 percent to 6.66 pounds; The Swatch Group, 4.5 percent to 96.15 Swiss francs, and Brunello Cucinelli, 4.3 percent to 20.50 euros.
French Connection Group shares jumped 16 percent to 43 pence after the company released an upbeat trading statement and boosted its profit guidance.
The company said its loss, before taxes and nonrecurring items, would be less than previously expected, in the region of 4.7 million pounds for the full year, compared with last year’s loss of 7.2 million pounds.
Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Yoox.com, 1.8 percent to 29.24 euros; Ferragamo, 1.1 percent to 22.19 euros, and Gemfields, 3.5 percent to 34 pence.
The euro traded at $1.35 versus the U.S. dollar while the pound fetched $1.63 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.11.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)