A strong year for stocks closed on a slightly sour note as the WWD Global Stock Tracker fell 0.2 percent to end 2014 at 108.06.
The tracker fared better than Wall Street’s main indices for the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9 percent to 17,823.07, failing to return to the 18,000 level for the start of 2015, while the S&P 500 dropped 1 percent to 2,058.90. Retailers in the S&P eked out a 0.1 percent gain to rise to 1,032.73.
The sell-off, reflecting ongoing concern about Greek political turmoil and perhaps anxiety about an increase in applications for unemployment assistance in the U.S., scarcely made a dent in the robust gains most stocks made for the year.
WWD’s group of 100 international fashion, retail and beauty equities ended the year ahead 8.8 percent, above the Dow’s 7.5 percent increase but shy of the S&P’s 11.4 percent gain as well as the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group’s 9.9 percent improvement.
In Europe, Frankfurt’s DAX was up 2.7 percent in 2014 and Milan’s FTSE MIB finished just ahead of its 2013 finish, up 0.2 percent. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.5 percent and London’s FTSE 100 was off 2.7 percent.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo had a strong year, rising 7.1 percent, although it fell well short of the 52.9 percent jump of Shanghai’s SSE Composite Index. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index was up 1.3 percent following a tumultuous 12 months marked by conflict with Beijing.
On the year’s final trading day, Quiksilver Inc. logged the largest decline among tracker stocks, declining 3.9 percent to $2.21, and American Apparel Inc. followed with its 3.7 percent drop to $1.03. The Buckle Inc. was off 1.6 percent to $52.52 and The Procter & Gamble Co. shed 1.4 percent to $91.09.
Myer Holdings Ltd. lost 1.4 percent as well, landing at 1.40 Australian dollars, or $1.15 at current exchange.
Among tracker stocks on the ascent were Li Ning Co., up 6.5 percent to 3.79 Hong Kong dollars, or 49 cents, and Luen Thai Holdings Ltd., up 3.7 percent to 1.42 Hong Kong dollars, or 18 cents. Youngor Group Co. was ahead 3.1 percent to 11.52 yuan, or $1.86. Global Brands Group and Dickson Concepts each gained 2.7 percent to 1.52 Hong Kong dollars, or 20 cents, and 3.84 Hong Kong dollars, or 50 cents, respectively.
The best performer among U.S. tracker equities came from Elizabeth Arden Inc., up 2.4 percent to $21.38, followed by Sears Holdings Corp., up 2.3 percent to $32.98