Positive news about the U.S. job market helped European indices but failed to slow a sell-off in U.S. retail shares.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group sank below 900, ending the day down 2 percent at 882.68. It marked the fourth sharpest reduction in the index this year and the worst day since a 2.5 percent drop on Feb. 3, putting year-to-date declines at 6.1 percent.
While the Nasdaq fell 2.6 percent to 4,127.73, the other major indices saw smaller losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave back 1 percent to close the week at 16,392.77, putting its year-to-date decline at 1 percent. The S&P 500 dropped 1.3 percent to 1,865.09, reducing its year-to-date gain to 0.9 percent.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported that 192,000 jobs were created in March, leaving the unemployment rate at 6.7 percent with an increase in the rate of participation.
Among the fashion, retail and beauty stocks tracked by WWD, declines outnumbered gains by a more than five-to-one margin. Beauty firms dominated the handful of winners, with Avon Products Inc. up 2.7 percent to $15.07, Coty Inc. up 0.7 percent to $15.21, Inter Parfums Inc. up 0.6 percent to $34.99 and Revlon Inc. up 0.4 percent to $25.70.
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Ann Inc. rose 0.6 and 0.5 percent, respectively, to $8.88 and $42.04.
Coldwater Creek Inc. saw further erosion of its shares, which fell 14.3 percent to 24 cents, while Under Armour Inc was off 7.4 percent to $104.33. American Apparel Inc. was down 5.9 percent to 47 cents on a day when Swiss activist investment fund FiveT Capital Holding AG reported a 20 million share, or 11.5 percent, stake in the troubled vertical retailer. Stage Stores Inc. saw its shares recede 4.6 percent to $23.71.
Joining in the steep declines among equities traded on the Nasdaq, shares of Facebook Inc. dropped 4.6 percent to $56.75.
European markets were generally up as they close following the news about U.S. jobs, although fashion, luxury and retail stocks were excluded from most of the gains.
The FTSE MIB in Milan and CAC 40 in Paris both climbed 0.8 percent to 22,175.48 and 4,484.55, respectively. The FTSE 100 in London and the DAX in Frankfurt each gained 0.7 percent to 6,695.55 and 9,695.77, respectively.
Among issues in decline were Asos.com, which dipped 1.1 percent to 49.56 pounds; Brunello Cucinelli, which fell 1.3 percent to 19.85 euros; and Mulberry, down 3.4 percent to 7.05 pounds. Marks & Spencer lost 2.1 percent to 4.61 pounds after analysts at Goldman Sachs issued a “sell” rating on its shares in a research note. The U.K. retailer is set to report its fourth-quarter sales figures April 10.
Stocks in the sector that rose included Inditex, which climbed 1.3 percent to 113.55 euros, and Tod’s, which was up 0.9 percent to 97.20 euros.
The euro traded for $1.37 against the U.S. dollar while the pound went for $1.66.