The fourth quarter of the calendar year began on a sobering note as the WWD Global Stock Tracker joined major U.S. indices and most major European and Asian markets with substantial losses.
WWD’s tracker, based on trading for 100 publicly held fashion, retail and beauty firms around the world, was down 0.9 percent to 98.95, its lowest mark since a 98.94 finish on Aug. 18. The decline was greater than the 0.6 percent drop for Tokyo’s Nikkei 225, which ended the day at 16,082.25, but below the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 1.4 percent slide to 16,804.71 and the S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group’s 1.2 percent pullback to 919.24. Shanghai’s SSE Composite Index, relatively insulated from reports of the protests in Hong Kong, rose 0.3 percent to 2,363.87.
Encouraging news about employment and manufacturing deepened investors’ concerns that the Federal Reserve might elect to raise interest rates, pushing dollars into bonds.
The largest percentage losses among tracker stocks came from U.S. equities, led by J.C. Penney Co. Inc.’s 7.3 percent decline to $9.31 and Quiksilver Inc.’s 5.8 percent drop to $1.62. Shares of American Apparel Inc. slid 4.9 percent to 78 cents while Avon Products Inc. and Ann Inc. saw declines of 4.8 and 4.7 percent, respectively, to $12 and $39.21.
The leaders among stocks monitored by the tracker were geographically diverse. Matsuya Co. shares rose 2.4 percent to 1,396 yen, or $12.73 at current exchange, while Shinsegae Co. Ltd.’s shares rose 2.3 percent to 224,500 Korean won, or $212.81. Vince Holding Corp. was up 1.7 percent to $30.77 and Pandora A/S ahead 1.6 percent to 469.70 Danish kroner, or $79.70.
Adidas rounded out the top five, rising 1 percent to 59.86 euros, or $75.62, after it outlined plans to allocate 1.5 billion euros, or $2 billion, for share repurchases coupled with an annual dividend to shareholders ranging from 20 to 40 percent of net income attributable to holders of equity.
The poor investment climate, complicated by ongoing events in Hong Kong, Syria and Iraq, made for a less than spectacular debut on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange for German e-tailer Zalando. Shares opened at 24.10 euros, or $30.37, and initially rose before ending the day at the issue price of 21.50 euros, or $29.07.