The WWD Global Stock Tracker pulled back from Wednesday’s all-time high as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s shares fell after it shared plans for a series of employee wage hikes.
The tracker, which rose to a high of 112.66 on Wednesday, fell 0.2 percent to 112.46, in line with the 0.2 percent decline of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 0.1 percent drop in the S&P 500, which closed, respectively, at 17,095.77 and 2,097.45. It was the Dow’s first close below 18,000 in a week.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group fared better, rising 0.6 percent to 1,101.19 on the first day of the fourth-quarter earnings season.
Kicking off the retail reports, Wal-Mart had earnings, sales and U.S. comparable sales, with revenues below analysts’ consensus estimates but earnings above them.
But investors worried that the giant retailer’s plans to raise wages to at least $9 an hour for its full-time U.S. associates would increase its expenses and the stock dropped 3.2 percent to $83.52.
The largest decline among tracker stocks came from Quiksilver Inc., down 5 percent to $2.26, followed by Avon Products Inc., down 4.1 percent to $8.73. Sears Holdings Corp. was next, off 3.5 percent to $36.23, followed by Wal-Mart and Vince Holding Corp., down 2.1 percent to $23.54. All other share declines were less than 2 percent.
Among those logging gains, Adidas had the best showing, with shares up 5 percent to 67.87 euros, or $77.35 at current exchange, after the company confirmed that it had launched a search for a new chief executive officer to succeed Herbert Hainer, whose employment contract was recently extended through 2016.
The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. had the next best showing, rising 3.5 percent to $5.70, followed by Hennes & Mauritz AB, up 3.4 percent to 358.10 Dutch kroner, or $42.82. Movado Group Inc. shares rose 3.2 percent to $24.86 and Inditex SA gained 2.6 percent to 27.58 euros, or $31.43. Coach Inc. was up slightly less, advancing 2.5 percent to $40.69.
After the markets closed, Nordstrom Inc. reported fourth-quarter earnings and sales and provided 2015 guidance that trailed Wall Street estimates. Shares, up 1.2 percent to $77.14 during the regular trading session, shed 2.5 percent to $75.25 in the first 60 minutes of after-hours trading.
The markets again responded to activity in the oil market. Crude oil futures closed at $51 a barrel, down 2.2 percent, in New York.