Investors pushed retail stocks down 1 percent Wednesday ahead of comparable-store sales reports from U.S. retailers today.
The S&P Retail Index fell 3.54 points to 338.56 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.2 percent, or 101.63 points, to 8,512.28.
With full results from the government’s so-called “stress tests” due out today, investors breathed a sigh of relief as the $34 billion shortfall in Bank of America Corp.’s finances was smaller than expected.
Retail comps are expected to give the strongest indication yet of whether sales lost in March were shifted into April, as the timing of Easter moved into the latter month. As in previous months, they also will show just how important price has become to recession-addled shoppers.
J.P. Morgan analyst Charles Grom said discounters Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. had favorable traffic trends last month, but apparel and accessories weren’t a big focus for shoppers.
According to Grom, Wal-Mart regained its price leadership in April, with a market basket of 50 items selling for $257.12, below Target’s price of $260.85 for the same goods. Target edged out Wal-Mart on price by 9 cents in March.
Shares of Target rose 0.5 percent Wednesday to $41.47 as Wal-Mart’s stock fell 1.9 percent to $49.51.
Stocks were up around the world, with the FTSE 100 in London ahead 1.4 percent to 4,396.46, as Burberry Group plc rose 0.6 percent to 432.50 pence, or $6.51 at current exchange, and Marks and Spencer Group plc was up 1.4 percent to 351 pence, or $5.28.
The CAC 40 in Paris increased 1.8 percent to 3,283.51. European firms gaining ground included PPR, up 3 percent to 63.18 euros, or $84.53; LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 1.5 percent to 59.17 euros, or $79.17, and Zara owner Inditex Group, 0.2 percent to 33.12 euros, or $44.31. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.7 percent to 8,977.37.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“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