Fashion rode the stock wave back up — but the COVID-19 storm isn’t over.
Markets regained their footing Friday and made back some of the ground lost on Thursday, which marked the worst day on Wall Street since 1987.
The Dow traded up 639.94, or 3 percent, to 21,840.56 in morning trading, having lost 10 percent the day before. European stocks were also coming back, led by the FTSE MIB in Milan, up 11.1 percent, to 16,552.20, and the CAC 40 in Paris, ahead 5 percent to 4,247.82.
Among the strongest gainers were Vince Holding Corp., up 19.6 percent to $5.25; J.C. Penney Co. Inc., 18.3 percent to 49 cents; Moncler, 15.2 percent to 29.95 euros; Revolve Group., 13.2 percent to $10.23; Salvatore Ferragamo, 11.5 percent to 10.66 euros; Kering, 8.5 percent to 417 euros; Burberry Group., 8.2 percent to 14.13 pounds, and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, 7.5 percent to 324.20 euros.
While it’s good for companies to regain some of their rapidly lost valuation, the continued volatility is still disruptive and there are many unknowns about the COVID-19 fallout.
Kohl’s Corp., shares of which traded up 1.5 percent to $23.35 on Friday morning, axed its investor day scheduled for Monday and said it was prioritizing “the immediate safety and well-being of its customers and associates and the day-to-day operations of the business.”
The retailer also said it has “recently experienced a softening in customer demand particularly in those areas most affected by the virus.” That slowdown did not extend to e-commerce.
One of the big questions for retailers going forward is just how consumers will react as the outbreak spreads.
On Friday, the March Refinitiv/Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index came in at 60.1, a 2.8 point decrease from last month.
“The coronavirus outbreak and resulting market panic have more Americans spooked about the future of the economy,” said Chris Jackson of Ipsos. “As consumers look forward, they see many storm clouds significantly impacting their confidence. However, we do not yet see strong impacts on personal finances suggesting that the situation could turn if markets calm and the public health crisis is managed.”