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Why Ralph Lauren and Other Upscale Stocks Were Rising on Monday

By John Rosevear – Updated May 18, 2020 at 4:23PM

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A promising vaccine trial and reopening stores had investors in a buying mood.

What happened

Shares of several upscale apparel and home-goods companies were rising on Monday afternoon amid a broad-based market rally driven by a promising report from early trials of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Here's where things stood for these three companies' stocks as of 3:30 p.m. EDT, relative to their closing prices on Friday:

  • Capri Holdings (CPRI 0.74%) was up 12.2%.
  • Ralph Lauren (RL 2.68%) was up 7.7%.
  • RH (RH -0.29%) was up 11.8%.

So what

The broad market's Monday rally started after biotech company Moderna (MRNA -0.20%) shared interim data from an early study of its COVID-19 vaccine that showed positive results. Investors should take note that the data are very preliminary, and keep in mind that an approved, mass-produced vaccine is still many months away (at best). But notwithstanding those cautions, shares of many companies that have struggled over the last couple of months, including the three companies here, were rising on Monday afternoon. 

The front of a Ralph Lauren store on Madison Avenue in New York.

While some of Ralph Lauren's U.S. stores have reopened, its New York City flagships remain closed. Image source: Ralph Lauren.

The vaccine news, plus a general sense of optimism around retailers as America continues to gradually reopen, probably accounts for these three stocks' gains on Monday. But here's a quick roundup of the most recent news on each:

  • Capri Holdings, parent company of Michael Kors and other luxury apparel and accessories brands, was cut to neutral from overweight by Piper Sandler analyst Erinn Murphy, with a new price target of $16 (down from $21). In a note on Monday, Murphy said that her former thesis of accelerating growth for Capri's brands will take longer to materialize under the current macroeconomic conditions, and that the accelerating trend toward working from home could also put a damper on business-apparel purchases. 
  • Ralph Lauren hasn't released an update to investors since April 6 when it announced a series of cost cuts; said that its stores in China and South Korea had reopened; and that its stores in the U.S. and Europe would stay closed indefinitely. Some of its U.S. stores have since reopened for curbside pickup.  
  • RH, the company formerly known as Restoration Hardware, also hasn't updated investors since April 6 when it announced a series of cost cuts. The company has since reopened about 30 of its stores in the U.S. and Canada, and has continued offering one-on-one consultations with its designers via phone or online. 

Now what

Ralph Lauren investors won't have to wait long for an update from the company's leadership team, as it'll report its fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year earnings on May 27. Capri Holdings hasn't yet announced a date for its next quarterly earnings report, but the company typically reports in late May. RH won't report again until late June or early July. 

John Rosevear has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends RH. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Capri Holdings Stock Quote
Capri Holdings
$43.63 (0.74%) $0.32
Ralph Lauren Corp Stock Quote
Ralph Lauren Corp
$94.21 (2.68%) $2.46
RH Stock Quote
$264.94 (-0.29%) $0.77
Moderna Inc. Stock Quote
Moderna Inc.
$125.42 (-0.20%) $0.24

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