U.S. equity markets were down in the morning’s trading sessions, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipping 0.6 percent to 18,031.69. Overseas, the global markets for the most part were down as well, as investors began eyeing safer assets, such as government bonds and gold, over concerns of slower growth worldwide. A third-quarter IHS Global Risk Service report said that global economic growth may remain stuck in low gear for several more years. While the report said a worldwide recession is unlikely, it did note that global economic risk is not at “elevated levels compared to its pre-Great Recession readings. This is an indicative of increased investment risk in light of economic and political uncertainties.”
Adding to the concerns is the backdrop of a possible interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve in the U.S., and ongoing questions over the U.K.’s plan to exit the European Union.
The U.S. equity markets also saw shares of Sears Holding Corp. slip 0.4 percent to $10.83. The company likely won’t see a bid from Black & Decker for the retailer’s Craftsman brand, given that Newell on Wednesday accepted a $1.95 billion offer from Black & Decker for its tools business. There are reportedly three other possible offers for the brand: Techtronic Industries, Apex Tool Group and Husqvarna AB. But whether a deal can be finalized and at what price is a question mark, given that Craftsman was reportedly close to a $2 billion offer and the current market capitalization of Sears Holdings is just $1.16 billion — that would make the sum of Sears’ parts greater than the company as a whole unit.
Shares of Abercrombie & Fitch Co. on Thursday were down 1 percent in late-morning trading as investors digested its new marketing campaign.
The company unveiled an updated image that reflects some of its new ideals, such as a point of view that the brand is approachable and inclusive. The new imagery is part of its national holiday campaign that’s said to be one of its largest advertising promotions in its history. Fran Horowitz, president and chief merchandising officer at the brand’s parent company, said, “This is the brand’s opportunity to show the world it is a new day for Abercrombie & Fitch.” The company has also updated its current store operations to give consumers a more focused presentation, as well as making the customer experience a priority, Horowitz said.
Whether analysts and investors agree with the new direction for the brand — going older and targeting the Millennial consumer rather than teens — remains to be seen, but Horowitz said, “What’s important is what the consumer sees and what the consumer tells us…They are telling us we are on target for the age demographic that we are targeting.”
Abercrombie shares were trading at $15.98 at 11:50 a.m.