Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

Retailer's Surprise: Lower Guidance

September comparable retail sales were generally lower than expected, even after numbers were lowered in the last week. Apparel companies like Limited,Chico's, Abercrombie, Gap and Limited missed, but so did Target, as did the department stores like Saks and Nordstrom.

But the big standout are the large number of companies lowering guidance.

Lowering guidance: Men's Warehouse, American Eagle, Target, Limited, Nordstrom, JC Penney. Kohl's said earnings would be at the low end of the range. The biggest surprises were Nordstrom and JC Penney. Nordstrom saw an increase in sales, but less than expected. The company lowered its guidance for the quarter: down 6% pre-open.

JC Penney missed expectations, citing the weather and housing-related issues, and notably lowered their guidance for the quarter (which ends in October), to $1.00-$1.04 from $1.28. down 5% pre-open.

Wal-Mart actually missed sales estimates for September, but raised guidance, but it wasn't because of positive sales momentum, they're doing what they do best: cutting costs (read: squeezing suppliers). Upward guidance means Wal-Mart up 3% pre open, but slower sales momentum is an issue.

The good news: a cold snap in October should send buyers back into stores for those sweater.


Questions? Comments? tradertalk@cnbc.com

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Wall Street

  • Robert Shiller

    Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller says that his key valuation indicator is flashing warning signs.

  • Lael Brainard

    The Fed is in the early stages of an analysis on changes in bond market liquidity, amid signs that liquidity may be less resilient than in past.

  • Bill Gross

    Janus Capital acquired a majority interest in Kapstream Capital and said Kapstream's Palghat will support Bill Gross as co-portfolio manager of the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond strategy.