Retail and fashion stocks lost ground on Wall Street today, but investors gave a hearty vote of approval to Hanesbrands Inc.’s $575 million deal to acquire Maidenform Brands Inc.
Maidenform stock shot up 22.3 percent to $23.35 — a stone’s throw from Hanesbrands’ purchase price of $23.50. Shares of Hanesbrands gained 7.9 percent to $57.59, a significant gain since acquirers often see their stock lose ground after announcing an deal, given the risks they are taking on by adding a new business.
Those two companies stood out in what was generally a down day for the market. The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fell 0.4 percent, or 3.63 points, to 833.35, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.2 percent, or 25.50 points, to 15,542.24.
Among the decliners were The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., down 2.9 percent to $19.58; Zumiez Inc., 2.3 percent to $28.04; Sears Holdings Corp., 1.6 percent to $42.12; Ann Inc., 1.5 percent to $32.62, and Joe’s Jeans Inc., 1.5 percent to $1.34.
In Europe, markets made made modest gains, with Milan’s FTSE MIB leading the way.
The Italian market rose 1.3 percent to 16,442.71, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, up 1 percent to 3,962.75, and the DAX in Frankfurt, 0.8 percent 8,379.11. The FTSE 100 in London advanced 0.4 percent to 6,620.43.
The euro traded at $1.32 against the dollar, while the pound fetched $1.54 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.07.
The day’s biggest gainers included The Swatch Group, up 2.9 percent to 97 Swiss francs; Metro AG, 3.1 percent to 26.82 euros; Burberry, 1.7 percent to 15.05 pounds, and Carrefour, 1.7 percent to 23.55 euros.
Headed down were Safilo Group, off 2.5 percent to 15.33 euros, and Tod’s, 3.9 percent to 119.50 euros.