U.S. and European markets ended a difficult and at times frightening week on an up note, although Friday’s gains were inadequate to erase declines earlier in the week.
The WWD Global Stock Tracker eked out a minute gain – less than 0.1 percent – to close out the week at 107.76, 0.7 percent below its close seven days ago.
While most European markets rebounded, led by a 2.2 percent advance at Milan’s FTSE MIB, Swiss stocks continued to lose ground in the wake of the Swiss National Bank’s decoupling of the Swiss franc and euro on Thursday.
As on Thursday, the two Swiss stocks included among the 100 fashion, retail and beauty stocks that make up the WWD Global Stock Tracker suffered its two largest decines, with The Swatch Group down 7.1 percent to 355.20 Swiss francs, or $413.87 at current exchange, and Compagnie Financière Richemont off 6.7 percent to 69.90 Swiss francs, or $81.44. On Thursday, following the Swiss bank’s policy change, the firms were off 16.4 and 15.5 percent, respectively.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.1 percent to 17,511.57 and the S&P 500 reclaimed the 2,000 level, rising 1.3 percent to close at 2.019.42. Retail stocks in the S&P did even better, rising 1.8 percent to 989.63.
The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. led the comeback among U.S. department stores, with shares rising 7.1 percent to $6.19 for the largest gain among tracker stocks. Kate Spade & Co. shares were up 4.4 percent to $27.57 while Salvatore Ferragamo Italia SpA moved up 4 percent to 22.10 euros, or $25.70.
Carrefour SA rose 3.9 percent to 27.38 euros, or $31.84, while Yoox.com shares added 3.7 percent to 17.60 euros, or $20.47. American Apparel Inc. just missed the fifth largest gain, with shares rising 3.6 percent to 86 cents.
Following the declines at Swatch and Richemont, Esprit Holdings Ltd. share were down 4.6 percent to 8.74 Hong Kong dollars, or $1.13; Lotte Shopping Co. dropped 3.9 percent to 246,000 Korean won, or $228.69, and Fast Retailing Co. slipped 3.7 percent to 41,370 yen, or $356.13.
J.C. Penney Co. Inc. shares were down 3.6 percent to $7.44.