U.S. markets ended a volatile week with a gentle landing, which followed a similar close to the European exchanges earlier in the day.
The Dow Jones industrial Average shed 12 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,643 while the Standard and Poor’s 500 index rose 0.1 percent to close at 1,989. The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group Index dropped 0.1 percent to close at 1,201. Fashion apparel retailers closed the day with varied valuations that ranged from declines of 0.5 percent to gains of 3 percent.
Notable gainers included J.C. Penney & Co. with a 5.6 percent increase to $8.94, and Destination XL Group with a 5.8 percent gain to $5.62. Movado Group Inc. wrapped up the day with a 5.3 percent gain to close at $28.49. On the declining side were Bebe Stores Inc. with a 27.8 percent drop to $1.35 and Aéropostale Inc. with a 26.9 percent decline to 92 cents.
Bellwether Wal-Mart Stores Inc. finished the day down 1.7 percent to $64.96.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.9 percent to 6,247, while the CAC 40 in Paris edged up 0.4 percent to 4,675. But the DAX in Frankfurt lost 0.2 percent to 10,298, while the FTSE MIB in Milan headed down 0.9 percent to 21,993.
The FTSE 100 managed to gain ground Friday, but according to a Reuters report, August had seen the London index post its biggest monthly drop — 6.7 percent — since May 2012. All of Europe’s indices have endured falls over the past fortnight, in the wake of China’s volatile markets, as investors have reacted to the country’s slowing economy.
However, there were some positive data from the U.K. Friday, as the country’s Office for National Statistics said that it estimates U.K. GDP to be up by 0.7 percent in the second quarter, compared to a rise of 0.4 percent in the first quarter.
It was a varied day for fashion, luxury and retail stocks.
Risers included Italia Independent, 2.2 percent to 29.65 euros; French Connection, 2.4 percent to 0.33 pounds and Gemfields, 3.3 percent to 0.63 pounds.
Among those in the sector that lost ground were Aeffe, 3 percent to 1.55 euros; Mulberry, 3.4 percent to 8.70 pounds and Hermès, which dipped 1.4 percent to 317.50 euros, even after reporting Friday that it notched up a 17 percent rise in its consolidated net profit in the first half of 2015, to 483 million euros, or $539 million.
The pound traded for $1.55, while the euro changed hands for $1.13 against the dollar.
Earlier in the day China’s Shanghai Composite Index closed up 4.8 percent to 3,232,35 — after two weeks of extreme volatility — while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished down 1 percent to 21,612.39, with the Nikkei 225 in Japan up 3 percent to 19,136.32.
After sharp declines early in the week, an extended rally on the stock market over the past two days has put the weeklong decline at only 8 percent in Shanghai, a much better result than many would have predicted following the dramatic plunge of “Black Monday.”