Investors eased their way into the Christmas season with a slow, truncated day on Wall Street.
Many of the retailers with the weakest showings for the day had a tough go of it in 2015. As the closed approached, Aéropostale Inc. was off 6.2 percent to 28 cents, while The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. was down 3.7 percent to $2.07, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. was down 3.6 percent to 24 cents and Vince Holding Corp. was down 3.2 percent to $4.78
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group was down just 0.03 percent to 1,284.93 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 0.02 percent to 17,599.42.
That’s essentially a holding pattern as investors go off for egg nog.
Holiday results will come back into focus next week, though, as investors start to get a read as shoppers come out to spend their gift cards and return ill-fitting presents.
The all-important holiday season can make or break a retailer and sluggish spending, fashions that didn’t connect with consumers and freakish weather could all make for significant fallout come January.
Despite the struggles in fashion, the consumer is generally seen as strengthening, which provides some hope for the New Year. Consumer confidence strengthened over December.
“The economic fundamentals are in place for relatively strong 2016 consumer spending outlook,” said Chris G. Christopher Jr., director of consumer economics for IHS Global Insight this week. “Several positives such as lower gasoline prices, modest consumer price inflation, and increasing consumer confidence are assisting many lower- and middle-income households in spending a little more freely.”