Wall Street lost midday gains Wednesday, as investors worried that a half-point cut in interest rates would not be enough to fix an economic downturn.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average momentarily spiked 0.6 percent after the Federal Reserve announcement, but lost 0.3 percent for the day, closing at 12,440.96, while the S&P 500 fell 0.5 percent to 1,355.56.
After a short-lived rally retail shares sank, with the S&P Retail Index losing 1.1 percent to 405.46.
High-end department store Nordstrom Inc. dropped 3.8 percent to $36.73. Gap Inc. shed 3 percent to $18.32. Tween Brands fell 4.8 percent to close at $31.07, while teen retailer Aéropostale Inc. slid 2.5 percent to $26.12. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was one of the few retailers able to hang onto gains, ending the day up 0.3 percent to $49.14.
Action sports apparel retailer Zumiez Inc. jumped 2.8 percent to $17.80, while Coldwater Creek Inc. increased 3.8 percent to close at $5.72.
But the biggest gainer was Stein Mart Inc., soaring 10.1 percent to $6.08, after its chairman announced he would purchase 111,400 shares of the company.
Earlier in the day, the Fed lowered the benchmark federal funds rate to 3 percent, its second cut in two weeks.
In a release, the Fed said, "Today's policy action, combined with those taken earlier, should help to promote moderate growth over time and to mitigate the risks to economic activity. However, downside risks to growth remain."
Retailers and investors also are looking for a boost from an economic stimulus package being crafted in Washington that contains tax rebates aimed at putting money in consumers' hands by June. The Senate Finance Committee passed a $161.3 billion package Wednesday that is broader than a plan backed by President Bush and passed by the House on Tuesday.
The Senate bill could go to the full chamber for a vote by the end of the week. If the Senate passes its bill, the differences between the Senate and House measures will have to be reconciled in a conference committee before it can move to the president's desk. President Bush has said the bill could be delayed or derailed if the Senate makes too many changes to the compromise legislation he struck with House leaders.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)