Retail broke new ground today as Wall Street continued to move past the government shutdown and a near-miss in the debate to raise the debt ceiling.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 0.4 percent, or 3.65 points, to 865.91 — a new all-time high close. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1 percent, or 7.45 points, to 15,392.20.
Among the day’s fashion-sector gainers were VF Corp., which rose 3.4 percent to $211.23 after beating third-quarter profit estimates; G-III Apparel Group Ltd., 3 percent to $56.46; Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., 2.6 percent to $77.18; Coldwater Creek Inc., 2.6 percent to $1.20, and The Jones Group Inc., 2.1 percent to $15.32. WWD reported today that Jones was in advanced talks to sell its apparel portfolio to G-III and its footwear business to private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
Prominent among the decliners was J.C. Penney Co. Inc., which fell 8.3 percent to $6.42 after Imperial Capital has cut its target price on the stock to $1. Penney’s said this afternoon it had revised its partnership with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. — narrowing the scope of the arrangement. The home goods licensing deal sparked a long-raging legal battle with Macy’s Inc.
On the broader market, investors were in a wait and see mode ahead of the Labor Department reading of September employment, which will be released Tuesday, more than two weeks later than scheduled due to the government shutdown.
Europe’s markets closed flat or slightly up, as companies from lighting manufacturer Philips to Akzo Nobel, the Dutch maker of Dulux paint, reported profit that beat analysts’ estimates and investors speculated the Federal Reserve might maintain stimulus measures into next year.
The FTSE 100 in London was up 0.5 percent to 6,654.20, while Paris’ CAC 40 lost 0.2 percent to 4,276.92. The DAX in Frankfurt and Milan’s FTSE MIB were both flat at 8,867.22 and 19,262.69.
The euro traded at $1.37 against the dollar while the pound fetched $1.62.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the day’s biggest gainers including Mulberry, up 3.3 percent to 10.01 pounds; Ferragamo, 1.6 percent to 24.44 euros, and Burberry, 1.5 percent to 15.50 pounds.
Among the shares losing ground were Tod’s, down 2.7 percent to 124.90 euros; Luxottica, 2.6 percent to 37.68 euros, and Hugo Boss, 2.9 percent to 93.03 euros.