Encouraging news about the U.S. job market and the possibility of additional stimulus in Europe allowed stocks to recover some lost ground as they ended a brutal week on an upbeat note.
The WWD Global Stock Tracker picked up 0.8 percent to 96.77 but the bounce still left it down 1.6 percent from its final point on Oct. 10. Similarly, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.6 percent to 16,380.41, 1 percent below its end point of a week ago. It sits 2.2 percent below its level of three months ago.
The bounce was even stronger for the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group, which rose 5.8 percent to 892.83, paring its decline for the week to 2.1 percent.
European markets also showed signs of stabilizing. The DAX in Frankfurt rose 3.1 percent to 8,850.27, putting it ahead 0.7 percent for the week, while the CAC 40 in Paris gained 2.9 percent to hit 4,033.18, 1 percent below its Oct. 10 resting point.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.4 percent to 14,532.41, putting its weekly decline at 5 percent, but the Hang Seng Index was up 0.5 percent to 23,023.21, leaving it 0.3 percent below last Friday’s close.
U.S. stocks gained after word from the Labor Department that initial jobless claims hit a 14-year low of 264,000 last week.
Leading the gainers among tracker stocks was Yoox.com, up 7.3 percent to 15.94 euros, or $20.42 at current exchange, followed by four other euro-denominated equities. Carrefour SA rose 4.2 percent to 23.15 euros, or $29.65, and Safilo Group SpA was up 4.1 percent to 10.20 euros, or $13.07. Inditex SA shares added 3.9 percent to close at 20.67 euros, or $26.48, while Luxottica Group SpA, ending a turbulent week of boardroom change, saw its shares rebound 3.5 percent to 37.14 euros, or $47.57.
The largest declines among tracker stocks were from U.S.-based firms.
After reporting late Thursday that its comparable sales had remained soft in the third quarter, putting margins and profits at risk, shares of Urban Outfitters Inc. fell 14.3 percent to $29.62 after hitting a 52-week low of $29.11 in midday trading, setting the tone for difficult trading conditions for a number of specialty chains, including Abercrombie & Fitch Co., shares of which dropped 6.4 percent to $32.55, and American Eagle Outfitters Inc., down 3.7 percent to $13.71.
G-III Apparel Group Ltd. shares were down 8 percent to $72.10 and shares of Sears Holdings Corp. off 5.3 percent to $28.41.
VF Corp. is scheduled to report third-quarter results Monday morning, the first of the major apparel firms to do so.