Retail failed to deliver the expected sales growth today, but Michael Kors Holdings was there to pick up the slack.

 

Stocks slipped on Wall Street after the Commerce Department said January retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent from December — slower growth than the 0.7 percent gain economists expected.

 

The S&P Retail Index fluttered between positive and negative and was down 0.2 percent, or 0.89 points, to 567.20 in midafternoon trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average took a bigger hit, falling 0.5 percent, or 59.87 points, to 12,814.17, as investors also fretted over Greece’s fiscal troubles.

 

RELATED STORY: Michael Kors Q3 Profits Up 46.8% >>

 

Kors, in its first update as a public company, posted third-quarter profits of $32 million as revenues rose 67.9 percent to $373.6 million. Shares of the company shot up 24.4 percent to $41.81, giving the designer firm an $8 billion market capitalization.

 

Also on the rise were Fossil Inc., up 12.7 percent to $117.79 after a strong quarterly report; Tandy Brands Accessories Inc., 6.5 percent to $1.64; The Wet Seal Inc., 4.5 percent to $3.50, and True Religion Apparel Inc., 3.4 percent to $27.46.

 

In Europe, the CAC 40 in Paris dipped 0.3 percent to 3,375.64, while the DAX in Frankfurt tumbled 0.2 percent to 6,728.19 and the FTSE 100 in London slid 0.1 percent to 5,899.87. Milan’s FTSE MIB ran counter trend, rising 0.4 percent to 16,433.09.

 

Burberry Group climbed 2.2 percent to 14.23 pounds and Luxottica Group advanced 2.1 percent to 25.58 euros.

 

L’Oreal, surged ahead 3.8 percent to 84.73 following a leap in net profits and news that Liliane Bettencourt had quit the board to make way for her grandson.

 

Among the stocks that lost ground were Metro, which tumbled 2.3 percent to 28.42 euros; Marks & Spencer, which fell 1.3 percent to 3.44 pounds, and Carrefour, which retreated 1.8 percent to 17.36 euros.

 

The euro traded at $1.31 while the pound traded at $1.57.

 

In the U.K., inflation fell to 3.6 percent in January, down from 4.2 percent in December according to the Office of National Statistics. The drop came after an increase in the value-added tax 12 months ago stopped weighing down the measure of prices.

 

U.K. inflation is still above the Bank of England’s 2 percent target. Earlier in the week, Moody’s warned the U.K., France, and Austria they could lose their “AAA” ratings due to slow economic growth and the potential damage from the Euro zone crisis.

 

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