U.S. retail stocks slipped today, snapping a run of four consecutive days of gains as quarterly earnings reports fleshed out the consumer and economic picture headed into the second half. The S&P Retail Index was down 0.9 percent, or 5.89 points, to 627.00 as trading settled, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the day up 7.04 points at 13,175.64. Shares of Ralph Lauren Corp. fell 1.2 percent to $151.17 even though the firm posted a 5.1 percent gain in first-quarter net income. And Macy’s Inc.’s stock gained 2.8 percent to $37.99 after the company’s second-quarter profits rose 15.8 percent. Shares of Maidenform Brands Inc. fell as much as 10.5 percent after the intimates firm lowered its annual profit guidance, but the stock fought its way back to a decline of just 0.3 percent to $22.28 as trading wound down. Troubles in debt-crunched Europe and weakness in the U.S. have been continuing themes for companies reporting second-quarter results so far. In Europe, markets were mixed in the face of more grim economic news. In the U.K., the Bank of England slashed its 2012 growth forecast to zero from 0.8 percent projected in May. A year ago, the bank was forecasting growth of 2 percent for the year. And in Germany, exports fell in the month of June, dragged down by declining sales to euro zone countries. Exports were 1.5 percent lower than in May, according Germany's federal statistics office. The Bank of France, meanwhile, has predicted that the economy will contract by 0.1 percent in the quarter from July to September, tipping the country back into recession. The CAC 40 in Paris was down 0.4 percent to 3,438.26, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, which sank 0.03 percent to 6,966.15. The FTSE 100 in London and the FTSE MIB in Milan were both up 0.1 percent to 5,845.92 and 14,665.30, respectively. The gainers included Tod’s, up 10.3 percent to 84.75 euros on the back of a double-digit increase in first half net income; Yoox, 1.5 percent to 10 euros, and Ferragamo was up 1.6 percent to 17.43. And among those logging declines were Mulberry Group, down 2.1 percent to 13.84 pounds, and French Connection, 4.9 percent to 0.20 pounds. The euro traded at $1.24 while the pound traded at $1.56.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Dan Doperalski)
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)