By  on August 11, 2014

The WWD Global Stock Tracker inched higher Friday, but still ended its first month with a 2.5 percent decline.

Coming out of the gate on July 8 with a baseline reading of 100, the tracker rose 0.6 percent Friday to 97.52, giving it 11 up sessions and 12 declines in the first 23 trading days covered.

Despite concerns that the crises in Ukraine and Gaza could destabilize oil markets and these and other challenges could slow ongoing recoveries in North America and Europe, equity markets have generally held their own and moved on company-specific news this summer, with some pullbacks based on doubts about the ability of industries and geographies to live up to expectations of general economic improvement during the second half.

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These uneven patterns are evidenced by the tracker’s performance as well as by those of the world’s major indices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.5 percent Friday to close at 16,442.22, 2.1 percent below its month-ago close, and the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 1 percent to 894.87, just 0.02 points below its level on July 8. London’s FTSE 100 closed at 6,567.36 which, like the WWD tracker, is 2.5 percent below its month-ago close, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index stood at 24,331.41, up 3.4 percent from a month ago.

Perry Ellis International Inc. advanced the most of the 100 international fashion, luxury, retail and beauty firms monitored on the tracker. The company, recently reported to be considering a sale after activist investors Legion Partners took a 6 percent stake in the firm, rose 22.5 percent for the month to $20.94. The second largest advance came from Under Armour Inc., up 17.6 percent for the month to $68.49 as its performance-oriented brand has continued to gain traction with consumers. Tumi Holdings Inc. rose 13.2 percent to $22.78, while Anta Sports Products Ltd. was up 12.9 percent to 14.70 Hong Kong dollars, or $1.90 at current exchange, and Aeffe SpA added 9.4 percent to close Friday at 1.39 euros, or $1.85.

Urban Outfitters Inc., among the stronger performers with a presence in the teen sector, just missed the top five, rising 9.2 percent to $37.17.

The decliners in the tracker’s first month were led by Adidas, down 22.3 percent to 56.70 euros, or $75.88, and Safilo Group SpA, down 13.4 percent to 13.99 euros, or $18.72. Adidas is restructuring its golf business after a disappointing first half while Safilo late last month reported a 23 percent increase in first-half profits as European business firmed and conditions in North America improved after a tough first half.

Pandora A/S dropped 13.3 percent to 364.20 Danish krone, or $65.38, while Express Inc. and Quiksilver Inc. were down 12.7 and 12 percent, respectively, to $14.39 and $3.16. Despite reporting a 50.2 percent increase in first-quarter profits last Monday, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. dropped 11.8 percent during the month to land at $79.26 as concerns swirled about possible margin erosion in the quarters ahead.

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