Retail stocks fell 1.6 percent Monday, giving back some of Friday’s gains as investors looked ahead to several fresh readings on the consumer this week.
The S&P Retail Index slid 5.69 points to 360.66.
Retail stocks shot ahead 2.2 percent Friday after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said economic activity seemed to be stabilizing and that “the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.”
Much still depends on consumers, who make up two-thirds of the economy and have yet to find solid footing with continued weakness in the job market.
The broader stock market began Monday on the upswing as traders took their cue from investors in Europe and Asia, but the rally began to fail in the afternoon and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended nearly flat, with a 3.32-point gain to 9,509.28.
Internationally, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 3.4 percent and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong increased 1.7 percent prior to the CAC 40’s 1 percent advance in Paris and the FTSE 100’s 0.9 percent gain in London.
Even if consumers are still relatively down in the dumps, sentiment among economists seems to be improving.
IHS Global Insight economists Nariman Behravesh and Sara Johnson said Monday, “The longest and deepest recession of the postwar era has ended, and a new global expansion is beginning in the third quarter.”
The pair said global gross domestic product would fall 2.3 percent this year and then rise 2.4 percent in 2010 and 3.4 percent in 2011.
But shoppers have to do their part for these predictions to pan out.
“A sustained, robust global recovery depends on renewed growth in consumer spending and capital investment,” Behravesh and Johnson said. “The coming expansion will be restrained by cautious consumers in the United States and Europe, who are saving to rebuild depleted assets and reduce debt burdens. China, India, Brazil and other emerging markets will fill some, but not all, of the void.”
For those reading the economic tea leaves, this will be a busy week with The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index out today and reports on new home sales, GDP and personal income, consumption and prices due later this week.
On average, economists predict the still-depressed confidence index will have inched up to 47.6 this month from 46.6 last month.
Among the retail decliners Monday were Sears Holdings Corp., down 3.2 percent to $63.94; American Eagle Outfitters Inc., 2.8 percent to $14.26; Charming Shoppes Inc., 2.5 percent to $5.57; Tween Brands Inc., 2.1 percent to $7.33, and Target Corp., 1.1 percent to $45.17.
Topping the list of 174 stocks tracked by WWD was Charlotte Russe Holding Inc., which climbed 25.9 percent to $17.36 after the company agreed to be bought out by private equity firm Advent International Corp.
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)
@denimdaysfestival, which initially launched in Amsterdam in 2014 and has since expanded to New York, is heading to Nashville for the very first time. The two-day festival, which will take place in November, will feature brand activations, hands-on workshops by artisans and denim mills, a vintage market, live entertainment, and local food and drinks. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Later this month, the popular “Diana: Her Fashion Story” exhibit will be reopening. @historicroyalpalaces, the charity that manages @kensingtonroyal, has been working towards adding new, never-before-seen garments to the exhibit, including this dress created by Gianni Versace for a fund-raising dinner at the Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The exhibit will reopen on April 26 at Kensington Palace @wwdfashion
“Our family has always been engaged and interested in the world around us. [My brothers and I] were always encouraged to have our own opinion at a young age, which is not always something a child is asked — especially to have an opinion with reasoning behind it,” said @yarashahidi on becoming an activist. We caught up with the 18 year old last week, where she talked about her road to acting, how “Black-ish” led her to start conversations about identity and more. Head to WWD.com to read what she had to say #wwdeye (📷: @chelsealaurenla)