WWD.com/business-news/financial/europes-stock-markets-on-the-rise-7606952/
government-trade
government-trade

Retail Stocks Slip 0.5%

Markets react to earnings reports, forward guidance.

U.S. Retail stocks took most of their cues from earnings reports and 2014 guidance, ending the week with their third straight day of losses.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 0.5 percent to 917.83 today, down 0.4 percent for the week and off 2.3 percent for the year so far. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were down for the day but up for the week, with the Dow off 0.2 percent to 16,302.70, 1.5 percent ahead of its resting point last Friday, and the S&P off 0.3 percent to 1,866.40, 1.4 percent above last Friday’s mark.

For the year, the Dow is down 1.7 percent and the S&P ahead 1 percent.

While much of the stock activity today revolved around earnings reports, the largest single move among retail, fashion and beauty stocks tracked by WWD came from Ann Inc., which rose 13 percent to $42.05 following Thursday’s disclosure that Golden Gate Capital had taken a 9.5 percent stake in the specialty retailer.

Nike Inc., a Dow component stock, saw its shares pull back 5.1 percent to $75.21 after it expressed concerns about the effects of currency fluctuation in emerging markets on its fourth-quarter results.

Despite gains earlier in the day, shares of Tiffany & Co. were off 0.5 percent to $90.73 after the upscale jeweler missed fourth-quarter analysts’ consensus estimates and projected 2014 earnings below Wall Street expectations.

The largest decline among fashion retailers came from The Wet Seal Inc. Shares dropped 11.4 percent to $1.55 on an adjusted net loss that matched estimates and a 16.5 percent decline in comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter. The firm said it had entered into an agreement with a single, unnamed institutional investor involving the placement of $27 million in convertible notes and warrants to purchase Class A common stock.

Clinton Group, the activist investor which holds 7 percent of Wet Seal’s stock, commended recent moves by the retailer’s management, saying it was “well positioned to emerge from the market-wide slowdown in teen apparel retailing significantly stronger than its competitors and better aligned with the teenage girl’s shopping habits.”

Clinton said it wasn’t involved in the private placement.

With the exception of Milan’s FTSE MIB, which has risen 10.6 percent for the year, major European markets ended the day with gains.

The Italian market was down 0.6 percent to 20,972.24, while the DAX in Frankfurt advanced 0.5 percent to 9,342.94, and the FTSE 100 in London and the CAC 40 in Paris were each up 0.2 percent, to 6,557.17 and to 4,335.28, respectively.

All four markets ended the week with gains, led by the DAX’s 3.2 percent advance.

The day’s biggest gainers included Mulberry Group, up 7.4 percent to 7.20 pounds following news on Thursday that its chief executive Bruno Guillon stepped down; Indian fast fashion retailer Koovs, 2.7 percent to 1.82 pounds; Moncler, 1.7 percent to 13.07 euros; Inditex, 1.1 percent to 108.25 euros, and Hugo Boss, 1.6 percent to 94.76 euros.

Among those shedding value were Burberry Group, down 2.1 percent to 13.90 pounds; Geox, 2.9 percent to 3.20 euros; Metro AG, 2.3 percent to 28.83 euros, and Yoox.com, 5.4 percent to 26.46 euros.

The euro traded at $1.38 against the U.S. Dollar, while the pound fetched $1.65 and the Swiss franc went for $1.13.