U.S. retail stocks broke a two-day losing streak today as Wall Street hunkered down in anticipation of the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting next week.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 0.2 percent to close the week at 914.40. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.1 percent to end at 15,755.36 and S&P 500 was down a fraction to 1,775.32.
Investors and economists are waiting for word on whether positive signs in the economy will lead the Fed to end or “taper” its bond-buying program, one of the few sources of public-sector stimulus.
Shares of Quiksilver Inc. scored the biggest gain among fashion, beauty and retail stocks tracked by WWD. They rose 7.1 percent to $8.28 after falling back 2.7 percent in after-hours trading Thursday on an unexpected first-quarter loss. An upgrade to “buy” from “neutral” by B. Riley, citing progress in the company’s plans to rebuild profitability and focus on core brands, lifted investor confidence.
Two California-based, youth-oriented specialty chains — Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. and The Wet Seal Inc. — were also among the day’s biggest winners, rising 3.5 percent to $3.25 and 2.9 percednt to $2.47, respectively.
The days deepest decline came from Coldwater Creek Inc. Although the third-quarter loss reported late Thursday was smaller than the one expected by analysts, plans to close up to 10 additional stores out of its current fleet of 379 gave investors pause, and shares pulled back 5.9 percent to 80 cents.
American Apparel Inc. saw its shares erode 3.7 percent to $1.05 while Sears Holdings Corp.’s shares were off 2.7 percent to $45.36.
Europe’s major indices ended the week with narrow losses.
London’s FTSE 100 crept down 0.1 percent to 6,440.56, while the DAX in Frankfurt was also down 0.1 percent, to 9,010.41. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.2 percent to 4,059.71 and the FTSE MIB in Milan was unchanged at 17,805.73.
The gainers included Luxottica Group, up 2.8 percent to 36.95 euros; Compagnie Financière Richemont, 1.1 percent to 85.95 Swiss francs, and Brunello Cucinelli, 2.6 percent to 25.24 euros.
Declines came from Metro, down 1.2 percent to 34.57 euros; Tod’s, 0.6 percent to 120 euros, and Carrefour, 0.6 percent to 27.13 euros.
The euro traded for $1.38 against the U.S. dollar, while the pound traded for $1.64 and the Swiss franc for $1.13.