Retail stocks found a measure of redemption Friday, rising 1.2 percent, but the sector lost ground for the week as the rally that began in March continued to sputter.
The S&P Retail Index inched up 3.66 points to 320.07 for the day, but dipped 3.6 percent for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2 percent, or 15.87 points, to 8,539.73 on Friday and declined 2.9 percent for the week.
Retail stocks are up 43.4 percent since March 6 when economic data began suggesting the economy was still worsening but no longer in free fall. So far, there have not been enough signs of actual improvement to keep feeding the rally. Unemployment stands at 9.4 percent and is expected to hit 10 percent.
If history repeats itself and retail stocks hold true to their “early cycle” trend, the sector might continue to rise as unemployment bottoms out and eventually improves.
Charles Grom, a J.P. Morgan equity analyst, examined the last five recessionary periods and said the worst could have already passed for retailers.
“If our academic analysis holds true and the 10 percent peak-unemployment forecast is accurate, it implies retail stocks should have bottomed out in [the first quarter] with unemployment in the mid-7 percent range,” Grom said in a research note. “It’s very possible that we’ve seen the bottom for retail stocks.”
On Friday, bankrupt Anchor Blue said it would close 46 underperforming stores as part of a restructuring plan following a May Chapter 11 filing.
Shares of Liz Claiborne Inc. fell 29.2 percent last week to $3.28 after the company said second-quarter losses would be steeper than analysts expected. Conversely, The Talbots Inc. was up 38.9 percent to $6.96 and Syms rose 9.4 percent after closing its purchase of Filene’s.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
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