October, a month that began with anxiety for investors, finished on a decisively upbeat note, and the WWD Global Stock Tracker benefited along with equities in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
The tracker, set at 100 upon its inception on July 8, gained 0.9 percent to close out the day, week and month at 101.66. It was the biggest leap for the tracker since a 1.3 percent bound on Oct. 21 and put the monitor of worldwide fashion, retail and beauty stocks up 2.5 percent for the week and 1.8 percent for the month.
Stocks jumped in Asia after the Bank of Japan opted for a new round of stimulus spending, sending the Nikkei 225 to a 4.8 percent increase to 16,413.76, and the positive momentum in equities moved westward from there. Frankfurt’s DAX was up 2.3 percent for the day, to 9,326.87, and Milan’s FTSE MIB was up 3.1 percent to 19,783.99.
U.S. indices didn’t gain quite as much but still enjoyed a very Happy Halloween.
Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 recorded their highest closes on record, with the Dow up 1.1 percent to 17,390.52 and the S&P ahead 1.2 percent to 2,018.05. The Dow hit an all-time high of 17,395.54 prior to the close and the S&P came within two points of doing the same.
The strong finish for stocks in late October produced a positive month for the indices after a difficult start. With the surge in recent days, the Dow was up 2 percent for the month and up 4.9 percent for the year while the S&P grew 2.3 percent in October, putting its year-to-date appreciation at 9.2 percent.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group, which enjoyed a 43.9 percent increase in 2013, was up 2.5 percent for the month, putting its year-to-date number in positive territory at 1.5 percent. At the end of September, it was down 1 percent for the year.
Japanese stocks logged the biggest gains among tracker stocks, led by Fast Retailing Co.’s 7.1 percent increase to 40,365 yen, or $369.61 at current exchange. Matsuya Co. shares rose 6.1 percent to 1,542 yen, or $14.12, followed by Shiseido Co.’s 5.9 percent increase to 1,834.50 yen, or $16.80, and Isetan Mitsukoshi Holdings Ltd.’s 5.4 percent increase to 1,495 yen, or $13.69.
Coming back from a 9 percent drop on Thursday, when it reported a third-quarter profit tempered by a revenue decline, Avon Products Inc.’s shares rose 4.3 percent to $10.40.
Among stocks not included in the tracker, Columbia Sportswear Co. saw its shares rise 3.1 percent to $38.54 after it reported better-than-expected third-quarter sales and profits late Thursday.
Gains outnumbered losses by a three-to-one margin among tracker stocks, with the largest decline coming from Quiksilver Inc., down 4.9 percent to $1.75, followed by Sears Holdings Corp.’s 4.8 percent decline to $34.97. Esprit Holdings Ltd.’s shares backtracked 3.7 percent to close at 9.71 Hong Kong dollars; Shinsegae Co. Ltd.’s were down 2.7 percent to 198,500 won, or $188.21, and Prada SpA’s declined 2.6 percent to 47.75 Hong Kong dollars, or $6.16.