Investors can expect a turbulent Friday on Wall Street, as comments from the Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole symposium are likely to move markets after central bankers reveal new insights on their plans for monetary policy. Early on, investors seemed somewhat nervous about what the session could bring, but a favorable reading on inflation in the latest economic data releases helped ease concerns. Shortly after the market opened, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.70%), S&P 500 (^GSPC 0.35%), and Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.10%) were all little changed from where they finished Thursday.

However, a couple of companies reported their latest financial results, and good news spurred share-price increases. Both Farfetch (FTCH) and Gap (GPS 1.17%) have taken some hits over the past year or more, but today's news seems to indicate growing confidence among their shareholders that the businesses could be gearing up for at least a modest recovery in the near future. Read on to learn more about what Farfetch and Gap told investors Friday morning.

Farfetch gets some growth back

Shares of Farfetch opened higher by 18%. Investors reacted positively to the luxury fashion platform provider's second-quarter financial results.

Overall, Farfetch's business metrics revealed resiliency in the face of challenges facing the retail industry. Gross merchandise value (GMV) overall rose 1.3% year over year to $1.02 billion, powered by a nearly 50% rise in GMV from Farfetch's brand platform. The core digital platform saw slightly weaker GMV figures, but Farfetch revenue climbed 11% to $579 million. Although gross margin figures improved, adjusted losses widened slightly from year-ago levels to $0.21 per share.

Much of Farfetch's recent difficulties have stemmed from two sources. First, the company suspended its trade in Russia, which was an important source of sales for the platform. In addition, ongoing COVID-19 restrictions have continued to hurt orders from mainland China.

Longer-term, though, Farfetch's strategy to shift away from big markdowns and emphasize full-price sales of luxury goods appears to be paying off. That's a promising sign for the luxury e-commerce specialist, and it could help Farfetch build more positive momentum as it aims to stake its claim in an industry that's seeing considerable competition right now.

Bridging the Gap

Elsewhere among retail stocks, Gap shares were up nearly 7%. The longtime apparel retailer delivered a surprise profit in the fiscal second quarter ending July 30, and shareholders took that as a positive sign of a longer-term rebound.

To be clear, many of Gap's business metrics were far from spectacular. Net sales dropped 8% year over year to $3.86 billion, and comparable sales were down 10%. Store-based sales fell 10% from year-ago levels, and even the digital channel suffered a 6% decline in revenue. Margins were weaker as freight costs soared and discounting activity became more prominent, especially at the Old Navy store chain. Yet investors were pleased to see adjusted earnings of $0.08 per share, which accounted for inventory impairments and a couple other extraordinary items.

Investors were also willing to overlook the fact that Gap withdrew its full-year guidance for fiscal 2022. The executive team pointed to recent execution challenges and uncertainty in the macroeconomic outlook as factors affecting its ability to run its business in an optimal fashion. Nevertheless, Gap maintained a cautiously optimistic view toward revenue in the second half of 2022, and that seemed to be enough for investors to hang onto as a positive sign.

Even after today's gains, both Gap and Farfetch remain far below their best levels from early 2021. It'll take a lot of work to claw back all that lost ground, but the latest news represents at least one step in the right direction.