Retail shares soared on Thursday after investors received some good news about the bond insurance industry as well as a bullish report from Deutsche Bank, sending the S&P Retail Index up a whopping 4.4 percent to 423.16.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average grew 1.5 percent to 12,634.02, while the broader S&P 500 increased 1.7 percent to end the day at 1,378.55.
Rebounds came despite earlier announcements of weak consumer spending data and an increase in jobless claims.
Department stores and discounters got a boost after Deutsche Bank upgraded the sector to "Neutral" from "Cautious." As a result, shares of Sears Holdings Corp. grew 5.2 percent to $110.49, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. increased 5.9 percent to $47.42 and Kohl's Corp. rose 5.8 percent to close at $45.62.
Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. climbed 3.3 percent to $50.79, while rival Target Corp. swelled 5.7 percent to $55.36.
"We are feeling incrementally better about our broadlines retailing stocks and while there are likely two or three more negative data points ahead which could cause the group to underperform for the next few months, we believe the worst will soon be behind us," said William Dreher, research analyst at Deutsche Bank.
While Dreher said investors should stick with defensive stocks such as CVS Corp. and Wal-Mart, he believes Kohl's and Macy's Inc. will do well going forward.
Teen retailer Aéropostale Inc. rose 7.7 percent to $28.13, after the company announced an extension of its contract with chairman and chief executive officer Julian Geiger until 2011.
J. Crew Group buoyed 9.5 percent to $45.66, while action sports apparel retailer Zumiez Inc. grew 8 percent to $19.23.
After announcing a restructuring program, which will include closing 117 underperforming stores, shares of AnnTaylor Stores Corp. climbed 9.9 percent to close at $25.09.
Other women's retailers also saw notable gains. Chico's FAS Inc. soared 13.4 percent to $10.81, Christopher & Banks Corp. increased 5.7 percent to $12.84, New York & Company Inc. grew 8.4 percent to $5.55, Talbot's Inc. shot up 8.1 percent to $9.61 and Coldwater Creek Inc. flew 12.2 percent to close at $6.42.Shares of men's retailers, a sector many fear will be the first to cut back if a recession hits, made big strides. Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. ascended 14.2 percent to $27.24, while The Men's Wearhouse Inc. escalated 7.9 percent to $25.59.
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