Investors pulled back strongly Thursday, driving down retail stocks 2.3 percent amid an unexpected rise in U.S. weekly jobless claims and worries over sovereign debt in Europe.
The S&P Retail Index fell 9.16 points to 392.19 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 2.6 percent, or 268.37 points, to 10,002.18. The Dow briefly traded below the 10,000 mark for the first time since November and suffered its worst point decline since April 20.
“There’s a pull back from the big run-up last year,” said Andrew Fitzpatrick, director of investments at Hinsdale Associates. “There is a natural correction that needed to take place, so that’s part of what’s happening. The market’s grabbing any negative news or indication of weakness and using that to sell off.”
The Dow gained 67 percent from last year’s March low to its recent peak 10,767.15 on Jan. 14. Blue-chip stocks are now down 7.1 percent from that high, and Fitzpatrick said they could fall a total of 10 or 12 percent.
“The second year of a recovery is a slower one typically, but it’s one that does have pullbacks in the 10 percent range, and I think you can expect two or three of these over the course of this year,” he said.
Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 8,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 480,000, according to a Labor Department report tracking week-to-week trends. Economists had anticipated looking for jobless claims to fall to 455,000.
Investors also fretted over the sovereign debt of budget-constrained Greece, as well as Portugal and Spain.
Fashion stocks that declined included The Talbots Inc., down 6.7 percent to $11.03; Dillard’s Inc., 6.1 percent to $16.22; Dollar General Corp., 5.8 percent to $22.47; Guess Inc., 5.5 percent to $38.42; Saks Inc., 4.5 percent to $6.44, and Kohl’s Corp., 4 percent to $50.07.
Although shares of Liz Claiborne Inc. slid 5.1 percent to $5.20 Thursday, a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that Whitebox Advisors, a Minneapolis-based hedge fund run by investor Andrew Redleaf, had acquired 9.1 million shares of the company, or 8.7 percent of those outstanding, as of Dec. 31. Last year, Perry Capital scooped up 9.7 percent of the company’s stock. Calls to Whitebox’s offices weren’t answered.
Investors in the European markets pushed the CAC 40 down 2.8 percent to 3,689.25 in Paris and the FTSE 100 down 2.2 percent to 5,139.31 in London.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty