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.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye