Tough session at Wall Street on Wednesday, as the StockExchange Market re-opened after Hurricane Sandy left the city. American equity markets were closed Oct. 29 and 30, the first consecutive shutdowns because of weather in more than a century.
Despite the rough trading, almost three stocks rose for every two that fell on U.S. exchanges, as volume was about 6.31 billion shares, or 5.7 percent above the three- month average.
“Today, traders are more heightened to a flash crash more than any day prior,” Rick Fier, director of equity trading at Conifer Securities LLC in New York, said in a phone interview with Bloomberg. “Nobody cares about if the market goes up or down. You just want to make sure the market is functioning properly.”
The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 percent from Friday’s close to 1,412.16 at 4 p.m. in New York, after falling as much as 0.4 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 10.75 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,096.46 on Wednesday.
Another aftermath of the unprecedented market closure was that several stocks’ ex-dividend dates will be adjusted due to the market’s closure on Monday and Tuesday. Market expects most stocks that were supposed to go ex-dividend on those dates will have their ex-dates pushed back a few days. It has been the case of Fossil, True Religion Apparel or Polo Ralph Lauren, per instance.
After revolting the fashion industry sealing the largest acquisition of the year, PVH Corp. (PVH) surged 20 percent to 109.99 dollars, the highest level since at least 1980. The owner of the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands has acquired its competitor Warnaco Group for 2.9 billion dollars cash and shares transaction, creating a company with 8 billion dollars in sales and bringing all Calvin Klein-branded apparel under one roof.
Warnaco had licensed Calvin Klein’s jeans from PVH, which bought Calvin Klein’s company from the designer in 2003, reminded ‘The New York Post’. Shares of Warnaco climbed 39 percent to 70.58 dollars.
Elsewhere yet still in USA, analysts at Trefis expect that Polo Ralph Lauren’s revenue growth slowdown – generated by Ralph Lauren closing 60 percent of its distribution network in China and reducing shipments of core merchandise in Europe -, “along with tough comparison against a healthy Q2 fiscal 2012, to negatively impact the upcoming financial results for Ralph Lauren. The year ago period delivered a strong performance due to increased shipments of the new brand, Denim and Supply.”
In Asia, mainland Chinese stocks posted strong gains after two separate surveys showed an improvement in manufacturing activity Thursday, published ‘MarketWatch’. China’s Shanghai Composite index soared 1.8 percent after an official gauge of manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 50.2 in October from 49.8 in September. Notable advancers in Hong Kong included Esprit Holdings Ltd. which added 4.4 percent.
The improvement implied “China’s industrial activity continues to bottom out following a modest pickup last month. This is driven by the increase of new orders, thanks to the filtering through of the earlier easing measures, while exports outlook remains challenging,” said Hongbin Qu, HSBC’s chief economist for China, in a statement.