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.”
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
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion