The investment community marked the beginning of Janet Yellen’s tenure as chairman of the Federal Reserve with a less than cheery reception.
Stocks on both sides of the Atlantic began the week with sharp declines spurred by a weak reading on U.S. manufacturing activity and continued trepidation about growth in emerging markets and corporate earnings.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group lost 2.5 percent to close at 845.77, worse than the 2.1 percent decline of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to 15,372.80, and the S&P 500’s 2.3 percent decline, to 1,741.89. The retail index’s drop was the second largest of the year, just slightly less than Friday’s 2.6 percent slide, and left the index down 10 percent since the start of the year. It’s lost ground in 16 of 22 trading sessions in 2014.
U.S. markets fell at the opening bell on word that the Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing index came in at 51.3 percent in January, down from 56.5 percent in December and below the 56 percent mark expected by analysts. Apparel, leather and allied products were among the manufacturing sectors contracting last month.
Yellen, confirmed by the Senate early last month, was sworn in to succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman. Her term as the head of the central bank runs until February 2018.
The sharpest loss among fashion, retail and beauty stocks tracked by WWD came from The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., off 7.8 percent to $44.31, as Jos. A. Bank Inc.’s resistance to MW’s offer to acquire Bank through a $1.61 billion cash tender offer, expressed in a letter to MW’s board released Sunday, made a deal appear less likely. Bank shares also surrendered value, falling 5 percent to $53.39. The cash tender offer is for $57.50 a share. Large losses were also taken by shareholders of New York & Co. Inc., down 6.2 percent to $4.25, and Christopher & Banks Corp., down 6 percent to $6.71.
Among only a handful of stocks with gains, Vince Holding Corp. rose 1 percent to $23.59 and Joe’s Jeans Inc. was up 0.9 percent to $1.15.
Europe’s markets also weathered a broad sell-off, with the FTSE MIB in Milan down 2.6 percent to 18,907.16 and the CAC 40 in Paris off 1.4 percent to 4,107.75. The DAX declined 1.3 percent to 9,186.52 in Frankfurt while the FTSE 100 was off 1.1 percent to 6,465.66 in London. Of the four European markets, only Milan’s is up so far for the year.
Among the heaviest losses came from Brunello Cucinelli, down 5.7 percent to 19.10 euros; Aeffe, down 5.1 percent to 0.75 euros, and Prada, down 4.2 percent to 56.95 Hong Kong dollars.
Those with positive days included French Connection Group, up 5.7 percent to 37 pence, and Bonmarche Holding, up 1.6 percent to 2.87 pounds.
The euro traded for $1.36 against the U.S. dollar while the pound was spotted at $1.64 and the Hong Kong dollar at 12.9 cents.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion