Retail stocks headed into the final week of the fiscal second quarter on a high note.
Despite a 0.3 percent drop on Friday, the S&P Retail Index finished last week with a 4.7 percent gain, coming to rest at 351.39 following a 2.7 percent gain on Thursday. The upswing gave the index a 13.5 percent increase over the last two weeks and translated into the fourth week of advances in the past five. For the year, it’s up 25.8 percent.
The retail index once again outperformed the three major indices, all of which enjoyed strong gains. A 4 percent increase for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gave it an 11.6 percent gain for the two-week period, its best performance since 2000, two years before the resetting of the retail index. After scaling the 9,000 mark on Thursday, the Dow came within 8 points of sinking below it on Friday but rallied in the afternoon to close at 9,093.24.
The S&P 500 was up 4.1 percent for the week, to 979.26, and the Nasdaq Composite was ahead 4.2 percent to 1,965.96. The two-week gains came to 11.4 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
Stocks were buoyed throughout the week by second-quarter profit results from technology firms. While profits were uneven and often down, they generally exceeded expectations and often were accompanied by more upbeat guidance for future quarters, convincing investors, including those focused on the retail sector, that the equity markets still had considerable upside potential.
Their optimism will be tested this week, when apparel and beauty firms, including Coach Inc., Jones Apparel Group Inc. and Revlon Inc., begin reporting quarterly earnings results and The Conference Board chimes in on Tuesday with its monthly report on consumer confidence.
Retailers begin reporting their results for the May-to-July quarter next month. As has been the case in the tech sector, upside surprises are expected to be derived from cost controls rather than revenue expansion.
Of the 175 firms whose stocks are tracked by WWD, 150 enjoyed increases in their shares last week, four were unchanged and 21 experienced declines.
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