Stocks closed another week firmly in the red Friday after the U.S. Department of Labor posted a drop in August employment rates, the first since 2003.
The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics said employment in manufacturing, construction and local government education declined, but job growth continued in the health care and food services sectors.
"Employment in retail trade was little changed in August," the bureau said in a press release. "A job gain in building material and garden supply stores was partially offset by a decline in general merchandise stores."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.9 percent to 13,113.38, while the S&P 500 lost 1.7 percent to 1,453.55 and the New York Stock Exchange dropped 1.6 percent to 9,486.44. The Nasdaq declined 1.9 percent to 2,565.70.
The S&P Retail Index took a large hit, closing down 2.7 percent to 465.91.
Quiksilver Inc. and The Wet Seal Inc. were among the retail sector's sole gainers at market close Friday — thanks to major announcements the companies made late last week.
Shares of Quiksilver closed up 2.1 percent to $13.12 after the firm said it would launch a line for women under its namesake brand — garnering widespread Wall Street enthusiasm.
The line, targeted at women ages 18 to 24, older than the core base of its women's label Roxy, will compete with Urban Outfitter's Free People and casual women's designer Ella Moss, said CIBC World Markets analyst Dorothy Lakner, who rates Quiksilver shares at "sector performer."
"The one real void in its brand offerings, which span ages and genders from babies to older men, [is] women's, [which] has been the white space in Quiksilver's mix," Lakner said. "With more women taking up surfing, this seems like a natural for the company, the trick being to keep it separate from its highly successful juniors brand, Roxy."
Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst Mitch Kummetz rates Quiksilver shares at "neutral."
"We believe that ZQK is doing the right thing going after this consumer with its Quiksilver brand instead of a new brand, even as it will likely cannibalize the company's Roxy brand to some extent," Kummetz said.Meanwhile, shares of Wet Seal gained 2.5 percent to $4.49 after the retailer named Edmond Thomas as its chief executive officer, charged with leading its turnaround effort. Thomas previously worked at Wet Seal from 1992 to 2000 before taking his current role as co-ceo at surf chain Tilly's Inc.
Brean Murray Carret & Co. analyst Eric Beder reiterated his "buy" rating of Wet Seal shares on the news.
"We believe Mr. Thomas' hiring removes a key uncertainty for the company and should provide investors with even further confidence that Wet Seal has the management depth and experience to drive material top- and bottom-line expansion going forward," Beder said in a note.
Meanwhile, positive comment from CL King & Assoc. analyst Mark Montagna kept Dress Barn Inc. shares near breakeven. The stock closed up 0.1 percent to $16.70.
Montagna, who reiterated his "strong buy" rating of Dress Barn shares, said now is an opportune time to buy the stock, thanks to "compellingly low valuation and its relatively lower-risk future prospects."
"The recent addition of women's plus sizes and the removal of men's should boost productivity and profits at the Maurices division," Montagna said in a research note. "This creates a similar 'combo' store the Dress Barn division has operated so successfully for many years."
Dress Barn will report fourth-quarter earnings Sept. 19.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye