U.S. stocks declined after JP Morgan said quarterly earnings dropped 33% and set aside $1 billion
for securitized mortgage loans litigation. Investors turned cautious after European leaders suggested more losses for banks and said rescue funds should be accessed as a last resort.
Abercrombie & Fitch is up about 19% year-to-date, and has outperformed the broader S&P 500 Index (SPX) by nearly 8% over the past 40 sessions. The preferred American young fashion retailer was trading down Thursday 2.3% and trading at $69.16.
Meanwhile, S&P 500 index pared losses to 0.3% from the decline of 1.4% as tech stocks rallied in the afternoon. European indexes declined more than 1% with banks leading the decliners.
Still in Wall Street, Gap Inc. has announced it will close 21 percent of its Gap brand stores in North America by the end of 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported. It will have 700 stores in the region, which is about a third fewer stores than the company had at the end of 2007.
Finally, Esprit Holdings was big news Thursday when fell the most in three weeks in trading in the city after a magazine report said the company overstated its number of stores. Esprit plunged as much as 14 percent, the biggest intraday drop since Sept. 19, to HK$9.51 and traded at HK$10.14 as of 3:05 p.m., after Next Magazine reported that 30 outlets listed by the company on its website in the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Shenzhen either don't exist or couldn't be reached. The benchmark Hang Seng index gained 0.9 percent.
The retailer has lost more than 40 percent of its market value since it said Sept. 15 full-year profit plunged 98 percent amid declining sales in Europe, intensified competition and costs to close stores and sell its North American operations. Esprit's share price is vulnerable to any additional bad news, said Alex Wong, an asset-management director at Ample Capital Ltd. in Hong Kong.