European stocks sank on Thursday, hitting a 26-month low and headed by French luxury giantLVMH, which fell over 6%. Across the Atlantic, Nike beat analysts´ forecast and reported quarter profit rose 15%. European shares that had shown some resilience in the market falls of the past two months, such as luxury goods maker LVMH. "Indexes are getting close to a breaking point, with the spotlight on the weakening U.S. economy adding to the negative newsflow from Europe, and things aren't about to change," Saxo Banque market analyst Alexandre Baradez said for Assosciated Press. "There is more downward potential ... When we break such support levels, there is a risk of a sudden 10-15 percent drop, so people remain on the sidelines for now."
As per 11:55 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 4.1 percent at 880.55 points, after falling to a 26-month low of 877.13 points and companies such as LVMH dropped as much as 6.5 percent
In contrast, Nike Inc. reported its fiscal first-quarter profit rose 15 percent as demand grew for its sneakers and athletic apparel in nearly every market worldwide despite an uncertain global economy.
The results, which were reported after the close of the stock market on Thursday, beat Wall Street’s expectations and sent its shares up in after-hours trading. Overall, Nike’s revenue rose 18 percent to $6.08 billion, with particularly strong performance in its running, basketball and women’s training business. That’s above the $5.75 billion analysts polled by FactSet were expecting. Nike benefited from favorable exchange rates in every region. Its total revenue, excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates, rose 11 percent to $5.18 billion. The athletic apparel company´s shares shares gained more than 5% in after-hours trading after the world's largest maker of athletic shoes and apparel reported first quarter revenue and earnings above analysts' expectations.
Meanwhile, G-III Apparel Group Ltd., which makes clothes and luggage under Calvin Klein, Sean John, Kenneth Cole and other brands, said Thursday it will buy back up to 2 million shares. G-III's shares are down about 24 percent since Sept. 7, when the company said that its second-quarter profit fell despite revenue growth. The New York company lowered its profit outlook for the year. Its shares fell 91 cents, or 4 percent, to $21.81 on Thursday. They were unchanged in extended trading following the buyback announcement.