Poor economic data out of Europe brought back fears of a global slowdown, which resulted in a pullback in stocks worldwide.
Germany, which had been the leader in the European economy, reported that its factory orders dropped 1.2 percent. This was a big miss from the expected increase of 0.2 percent. The result was that all the major European indices are down.
In U.S. economic news, the February trade deficit grew from $45.9 billion in January to $47.1 billion in February. The strong dollar is being blamed for imports being higher than exports.
The S&P 500 fell by 12 points to 2,053, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 104 points to 17,633 and the Nasdaq declined by 36 points to 4,855. The S&P Retail ETF was sliding by 29 cents to $45.23.
Hudson’s Bay Co.reported earnings after the market close on Monday and investors were pleased with the results, sending the stock higher to 18.55 Canadian dollars or at today’s exchange rate $14.06. Comparable sales rose 11 percent, or 1.8 percent on a constant currency basis, for the quarter ended Jan 30. Total sales increased 70.4 percent to 4.5 billion Canadian dollars, or $3.44 billion. Sales growth has principally come from HBC’s off price and digital operations, and last year’s acquisition of Kaufhof Galeria in Germany. Sales at the Saks Fifth Avenue chain dropped 1.2 percent.
Hennes & Mauritz is combining with Conscious Commerce cofounders Olivia Wilde and Barbara Burchfield to launch a new collection. The H&M Conscious Exclusive will time its launch with the first World Recycle Week and will be available in stores on April 7. The collection features clothing made from more sustainable materials. The stock is down over 1 percent to 265 Swedish krona or $32 in today’s rates.
Skechers has been busy this week as it teams up with more athletes. Skechers Performance signed a multiyear deal with golfer Matt Kuchar and baseball legend Ozzie Smith will promote Skechers Relaxed Fit line of shoes. The stock is down 26 cents to $28.23.
The Walt Disney Co. stock is falling over 2 percent to $96.60 after chief operating officer Tom Staggs announced he was stepping down. He was considered to be a potential successor to chief executive officer Robert Iger. He had been with the company 26 years, rising through the ranks. He will remain with the company in the role of special adviser to Iger. Disney will now broaden its succession planning process. Iger is planning on leaving his position in two years.
Asian markets saw Japan and Hong Kong close lower, while China managed to end the day higher by 1.5 percent.