Retail shares led the market higher Thursday, rising 3.8 percent despite an increase in the number of jobless claims last week.
In its strongest move since June 1, the S&P Retail Index climbed 11.71 points to 323.05 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.1 percent, or 172.54 points, to 8,472.40.
Retail stocks were encouraged by better-than-expected first-quarter results from Christopher & Banks Corp., ahead 15.6 percent to $6.36, and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., which was up 9.5 percent to $31.08, as well as the well-received deal to combine The Dress Barn Inc. and Tween Brands Inc. (See related story, this page).
Other gainers included Saks Inc., up 6.7 percent to $3.99; J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 6 percent to $28.20; The TJX Cos. Inc., 5.2 percent to $31.81, and Target Corp., 4.2 percent to $40.31.
But the economic underpinning of consumer spending remains a big question mark headed into the second half. The number of people making jobless claims rose 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 627,000. Unemployment is at a 26-year high of 9.4 percent and is expected to rise.
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Richard Jaffe said unseasonably cold weather and continued uncertainty about the economy could damage June comparable-store sales.
“The consumer is still very cautious with her spending and little has changed regarding the outlook for U.S. economic improvement,” Jaffe said.
Leaner inventories also may restrain sales. “June is typically the start of spring clearance and with retailers operating with reduced inventories and less clearance merchandise than last year, there simply isn’t enough merchandise to drive comp sales,” he said in a research note.
Internationally, stocks were mixed with the Hang Seng Index up 2.1 percent in Hong Kong, the CAC 40 down 0.7 percent in Paris and the FTSE off 0.6 percent in London.
Shares of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton fell 1.4 percent to 55.06 euros, or $77.36, as PPR advanced 0.3 percent to 56.90 euros, or $79.95.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)