Retail stocks are moving ahead of Thursday’s release of

June sales activity. Urban Outfitters, up nearly 7%, is expected to report strong numbers, as well as Abercrombie & Fitch, which was 1.6% higher early trading Wednesday.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. was the biggest apparel gainer Tuesday in Standard & Poor's 500 as sentiment continues to improve since the CFO's cautious comments about the second-quarter last month. Research firm Weeden explained in an investors note Tuesday how Abercrombie's promotional stance is driving traffic and conversion versus teen peers, as Abercrombie continues to lead the sector with targeted promotions in peak periods. The stock also may be appealing on a technical basis as it reaches certain levels.

Still in the US, Zumiez--a specialty retailer of sports-related apparel, footwear and accessories for teens and young adults--reported June same-store sales climbed 9.8%, topping Wall Street's growth forecast of 5.6%, and building on an 11% increase last year. Zumiez has recently posted same-store sales growth that has generally exceeded analysts' expectations and outperformed the broader market.

Overall, retailers are expected to report a 4.9% increase in same-store sales in June, according to analysts, with teen-apparel retailers forecast to post a 3.3% jump. Thomson Reuters said retailers were well positioned as they have managed leaner inventories, while warm weather has driven demand for seasonal items that seem to have sold well in the second quarter.

While in France the CEO of LVMH has crowned as the country´s richest man with a fortune worth some 22.76 billion euros, Louis Vuitton, part of LVMH, the world’s leading luxury group, today announced that the Federal Court of Canada has awarded the largest ever judgment in a trademark counterfeiting and copyright case in Canada, with $1.4 million for Louis Vuitton and $1.1 million for its co-plaintiffs Burberry Limited and Burberry Canada Inc., for a total judgment of CAD $2.5 million. Despite the legal –and financial victory, LVMH shares traded lower, losing 0.2% at the market close.

Therefore, both luxury companies have won significant damages in the case.The fashion houses had filed suit last year against Singga Enterprises Inc., and Carnation Fashion Company, both based in Burnaby, B.C., Altec Productions, based in Markham, Ontario, and the respective owners and operators, importers, distributors and online sellers of each company.
Across the Pond, FTSE 100 was down 0.69%, pushing lower Wednesday in tandem with US stock futures, as investors reduce risk in the wake of China raising interest rates and re-surfacing euro-zone debt worries. Among the movers of the British index was the sports retailer Sports Direct International PLC that Wednesday bought 80% stakes in both USC, a youth-focused fashion business, and Cruise, an independent luxury retailer, for a total of GBP7.0 million.

Marks Spencer benefited from being upgraded to “buy” by analysts at Matrix, which helped its shares lift 9.2p to 376p, while other retailers including Tesco and Sainsbury’s also gained.

Angela González-Rodríguez




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