Retail stocks slipped modestly Monday despite hints the economic recovery is on the right track.
The S&P Retail Index dipped 0.1 percent, or 0.44 points, to 474.94 Monday, but is still trading at levels that prior to last week had not been seen since October 2007. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.7 percent, or 73.39 points, to end at 11,092.05, and the S&P 500 failed to break back through to 1,200, but closed up 0.5 percent, or 5.39 points, at 1,197.52.
Retail’s decliners included Chico’s FAS Inc., down 3.5 percent to $15.36; Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 3.3 percent to $47.09; The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., 3.3 percent to $24.92; AnnTaylor Stores Corp., 3.1 percent to $21.57, and Zale Corp., 2.8 percent to $3.15.
Shares of Liz Claiborne Inc. fell 2 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $8.53. After the markets closed, a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Tremblant Capital Group was the owner of 5.7 million shares of Claiborne stock, equaling a 6 percent stake in the firm. Companies holding 5 percent or more of a public firm are required to reveal those holdings to the SEC. No previous disclosures had been filed by Tremblant, indicating either that the stake was new or had exceeded 5 percent for the first time.
The decline among specialty stores belied a fresh reading from The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index, which rose to 109.6 in March, a gain of 1.4 percent from February and a new all-time high. The index, a snapshot of 10 forward-looking indicators that has been kept since 1959, advanced 0.4 percent in February and 0.6 percent in January.
“The indicators point to a slow recovery that should continue over the next few months,” said Ken Goldstein, an economist at the research group. “Strength of demand remains the big question going forward. Improvement in employment and income will be the key factors in whether consumers push the recovery on a stronger path.”
U.S. markets were also supported by Citigroup Inc., which posted a $4.43 billion first-quarter profit. And investors cautiously warmed to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. after the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the bank Friday with fraud related to its dealings in the subprime mortgage market.
The shadow of the Goldman case hung over Asian markets, where traders pushed the Hang Seng Index down 2.1 percent to 21,405.17 in Hong Kong and the Nikkei 225 down 1.7 percent to 10,908.77 in Tokyo.
Although European markets were off, general sentiment improved as trading moved westward. The CAC 40 slipped 0.4 percent to 3,970.47 in Paris and the FTSE 100 dipped 0.3 percent to 5,727.91 in London.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia