Fashion resumed its retreat on Thursday with many companies outpacing Wall Street’s swift decline.
After a one-day reprieve, The Dow Jones Industrial Average continued its drop, losing 492.41 points, or 1.8 percent, to 26,598.45 in morning trading Thursday.
Markets were up strongly on Wednesday as fears of the coronavirus fallout appeared to ebb and investors celebrated the rise of Joe Biden in the Democratic primary, which marked a strengthening support for a more centrist stance in presidential politics. But the Dow is still down 9.4 percent since its recent high on Feb. 19 as investors try to get a handle on how hard businesses will be hit by the global outbreak.
Shares in Europe are also down, led by the CAC 40 in Paris, which traded off 2.1 percent to 5,350.79.
Among the decliners were Abercrombie & Fitch Co., down 9.4 percent to $12.35; Ascena Retail Group Inc., 7.8 percent to $2.72; Safilo Group, 6.3 percent to 0.89 euros; Capri Holdings., 6.3 percent to $23.57; Tapestry Inc., 5.6 percent to $22.65; Salvatore Ferragamo Italia, 5.5 percent to 12.92 euros; Nordstrom Inc., 5.4 percent to $31.10, and PVH Corp., 4.4 percent to $70.56.
Governments around the world have pledged to fight the outbreak, which is most dangerous to the elderly and people with a comprised immune systems, and the Federal Reserve this week cut its benchmark interest rate by 0.5 percentage points and outside of its usual schedule for changing rates to boost the economy.
But it wasn’t enough to counter the growing realization that there will be no easy fix for the economic fallout.
Already, sales in China have taken a big hit, supply chains have been tangled up, business travelers have been grounded and surveys showed consumers in the U.S. started avoiding public places last week.
And more events were canceled or pushed back as businesses implemented stricter travel policies.
Giorgio Armani postponed its cruise show in Dubai, which was scheduled for April 19 and 20, but will now be held in November. Versace also said it would postpone its cruise show, slated for May 16 in the U.S., as it was “conscious of the need to prioritize the health and safety of its guests and employees” and that new plans would be forthcoming.
There have been a total of 96,888 confirmed cases of the coronavirus globally, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally. And while 53,638 have recovered and most cases are mild, a total of 3,305 people have died. While the outbreak has diminished in China, where it started, the U.S. and Europe and starting to get hit much harder. That has prompted Los Angeles County to declare a state of emergency as offices in other areas, including New York, contend with more cases.