Retail stocks came off of recent highs Tuesday, slumping 0.6 percent as Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said the economy was improving but had a long way to go.
Despite recent signs of stability in spending, Bernanke said the consumer still poses a risk to the recovery.
The S&P Retail Index dipped 2.08 points to 340.16 — retreating from its best close of the year on Monday, when the index ended at 342.24, and ending a streak of six consecutive days of gains.
Among the retailers losing ground were Caché Inc., down 9.9 percent to $3.65 after reporting a 59.9 percent drop in second-quarter profits Monday; The Talbots Inc., 5.2 percent to $4.04; AnnTaylor Stores Corp., 4.3 percent to $8.40; Dillard’s Inc., 4 percent to $8.20, and Macy’s Inc., 2.4 percent to $12.41.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 percent, or 67.79 points, for the day to 8,915.94.
Bernanke, in his semiannual update on monetary policy to House lawmakers, said credit was still hard to come by and financial conditions were stressed.
But he noted there had been notable improvements over the past few months, including some recovery in the corporate bond market. And the central bank now has less than $600 billion in credit extended to banks and other market participants, a marked decline from the $1.5 trillion for which the Fed was on the hook at the end of last year.
“Consumer spending has been relatively stable so far this year, and the decline in housing activity appears to have moderated,” he said.
But the job market — with unemployment at 9.5 percent — remains a wild card.
“Job insecurity, together with declines in home values and tight credit, is likely to limit gains in consumer spending,” Bernanke said. “The possibility that the recent stabilization in household spending will prove transient is an important downside risk to the [economic] outlook.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
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