Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc. and Sears Holding Corp. were fashion’s stock market darlings today.
At Fifth & Pacific, investors looked past continued weakness at its Juicy Couture business — which will need another year to get into fighting form — and zeroed in on the prospects for Kate Spade. The company is keeping the door open to “alternatives to our current multibrand portfolio approach that unlock value.” Shares of Fifth & Pacific jumped 11.5 percent to $14.31.
Sears investors were buoyed by a sign of confidence from the company’s chairman and incoming chief executive officer, Edward S. Lampert, who personally bought 332,048 shares of the company for $13.6 million last week, according to regulatory filings. All together, Lampert is deemed to beneficially own 60.1 million shares of the retailer, or 56.5 percent of those outstanding. Shares of Sears jumped 8.9 percent to $44.60.
On the broader scene, the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 0.3 percent, or 2.25 points, to 670.57, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 0.1 percent, or 18.89 points, to 13,507.32. The top gainer in the retail index was Limited Brands Inc., which rose 2.5 percent to $45.50.
European markets put on a mixed show. The FTSE MIB in Milan dropped 0.6 percent to 17,391.24, while the FTSE 100 in London dipped 0.2 percent to 6,107.86. The DAX in Frankfurt increased 0.2 percent to 7,729.52 and the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.1 percent to 3,708.25.
The euro was trading at $1.33 against the dollar, while the pound was worth $1.61 and the Swiss franc was getting $1.09.
Retail and luxury stocks also showed mixed results, with Swatch Group among the day’s biggest gainers, ahead 4.5 percent to 88.80 Swiss francs, after news that it would acquire Harry Winston Inc. for $750 million plus the assumption of up to $250 million of pro forma net debt.
Other stocks to make advances included Ferragamo, up 4.7 percent to 18.61 euros; Burberry, 1.5 percent to 13.25 pounds, and Compagnie Financière Richemont, 1.1 percent to 77.20 Swiss francs.
Among the stocks losing ground were Mulberry, down 1.9 percent to 12.38 pounds; Marks & Spencer, 1.4 percent to 3.67 pounds; and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 0.6 percent to 137 euros.