The Standard and Poor's Retail Index closed up almost 1.7 percent Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it was cutting interest rates, but the news didn’t help the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which fell back below the 9,000 level.
In the final 10 minutes of trading, the Dow, up more than 200 points during the day, shook off most of its gains, closing down 0.82 percent, or 74.16 points, to 8,990.96. Retail shares, however, jumped 4.62 points to 282.21.
Meeting in Washington, the Federal Open Markets Committee unanimously decided to lower its target for the federal funds rate 50 basis points to 1 percent. This is the latest in a series of moves by the Fed to try to encourage the flow of credit during the economic downturn.
The Fed said that, while “the pace of economic activity appears to have slowed markedly, owing importantly to a decline in consumer expenditures,” inflation was “expected to moderate in the near term to levels consistent with price stability.”
On the retail side, department store shares soared, with The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. leading the way with a 17.9 percent gain, boosting the stock 29 cents, to $17.90. Shares of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. increased 3.98 percent, closing at $21.17, while shares of Macy’s Inc. were up 6.7 percent, to $11.03. Shares of upscale department store Saks Inc. fell 1.4 percent, to $5.62. Discount giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. saw its stock dip 0.03 percent to $55.02.
Shares of women’s specialty retailer The Talbots Inc. climbed 18.31 percent, to $10.08, while shares of New York & Company Inc. boasted 17.3 percent gains, closing at $2.71. Shares of teen retailer American Eagle Outfitters Inc. closed up 3.5 percent, to $11.17, as rival Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s stock fell 1 percent, to $27.61.
Apparel vendors’ results were mixed. Big gainers included True Religion Apparel Inc. and Liz Claiborne Inc., which were up 9.1 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, to $15.70 and $7.23. Tarrant Apparel Group Inc. and Coach Inc. were among the decliners, with shares down 5.8 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively, to 49 cents and $18.63.
Yesterday, the Parisian fashion house @azzaro_official cut the ribbon on a temeporary retrospective at the wing of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The exhibition, which shows the lasting influence of the brand’s founder Loris Azzaro, is titled “Azzaro, Fifty Sparkling Years” and presents 50 looks. In it’s ’70s heyday, fans of the brand included Jane Birkin, pictured here, Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot and more. See more photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@trinaturk and @macys Inc International Concepts line are linking up on a collection for summer — filled with accessories, swimwear and shoes. The collection will also include a Mr Turk men’s line, both of which are the designer’s first entry into a more accessibly priced area. “It’s very world-traveler, gypset-inspired,” said Turk. The Trina Turk x INC line will launch on May 15th. #wwdfashion
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge