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Sam Davison/Creative Commons

Abercrombie & Fitch's share price is down more than 20% today. The plunge has been triggered by its announcement that it's no longer trying to sell itself. But it's also another reflection of the misery in brick-and-mortar retail.

This is a brand that until recently was fantastically popular with teens. But then it was struck by the brutal ephemeralness of fads, along with the decline of mall traffic. Among brick-and-mortar retailers in general, clothing merchandisers have been having among the worst trouble, short of the outright apocalypse facing big department stores (like Sears, which said Friday that it's closing 43 more stores, on top of the 150 stores it already planned to shutter, per the Wall Street Journal's Justina Vasquez.).

Bottom line: There is no easy answer for Abercrombie, which says it will now go it alone but ultimately may be faced again with the hard choice of finding a suitor.

Go deeper

51 mins ago - World

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. State of play: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead.
  2. Politics: Biden set to immediately ramp up federal pandemic response with 10 executive actions — Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
  4. Vaccine: Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.