A strong jobs report is pushing the overall U.S. stock market higher to close out the week.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. added 255,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate is holding steady at 4.9 percent. Analysts had forecast the addition of 180,000 jobs. Average hourly earnings jumped 2.6 percent year-over-year.
Unfortunately, employment numbers continue to decline in the apparel trade. Textile mill jobs fell 0.3 percent sequentially, as did textile product mills, which fell 0.8 percent. Apparel jobs also dropped 2.5 percent from June to July.
Retailers fared better this summer with clothing stores adding another 1 percent in jobs from June to July and general merchandise stores up 2.4 percent. Department stores continue to decline, losing 0.1 percent in jobs from June to July.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is higher by 143 points to 18,495, the S&P 500 is gaining 13 points to trade at 2,177 and the Nasdaq is jumping by 44 points to 5,210. The S&P Retail ETF is adding another 67 cents to sell at $44.76.
Iconix Brand Group Inc. stock was up over 9 percent in early trading to $7.13 following the apparel brand’s second-quarter results, which were released after the market closed on Thursday. On an adjusted basis, EPS was 27 cents, three cents better than Wall Street’s estimate. Licensing revenues slipped 1.7 percent to $95.7 million from $97.4 million. The year-ago quarter included $1.5 million of licensing revenue from Badgley Mischka, which the firm sold in the first quarter of 2016. Wall Street was expecting EPS of 23 cents on revenues of $95.2 million. The company said it would share its growth strategies at an upcoming investor day meeting.
Amazon.com Inc. showed off its first branded cargo plane at a Seattle air show, one of 40 jet liners that will make up its own transportation network. Amazon has leased 40 Boeing jets and 11 of the planes are already delivering packages. The remaining planes will be rolled out over the next two years. Amazon’s parcel volume was estimated at 1 billion packages in 2015. Branded as “Prime Air,” Amazon’s first airplane in its fleet features a tail number made up of a prime number. Amazon stock is higher by $5.23 to trade at $766.
PVH Corp. continues to see changes at its Calvin Klein label. As Raf Simons looks to come on board, longtime employee and global creative director Kevin Carrigan resigned his post. Simons was appointed chief creative office of Calvin Klein Inc. and he is bringing his right-hand man Pieter Mulier. Carrigan is expected to stay on to help with the transition, but is traveling for now. The stock is up slightly by 68 cents to sell at $97.15.
Avon Products Inc. is hitting the debt markets up for half a billion dollars. The cosmetics company priced an offering of $500 million senior secured notes due 2022 at 7.875 percent. The principal amount was bumped up from $400 million and is expected to close August 15. Avon said it is using the proceeds to complete tender offers for certain existing senior notes. The stock is gaining 5 cents to trade at $5.11.