After two weeks chock full of retailers' earnings — largely disappointing Wall Street and missing analysts' expectations — the S&P 500's Retail ETF (XRT) was trading in the slumps Friday afternoon, on pace for its worst week of the year.
The index was falling as much as 3.3 percent week-to-date, on pace for its worst week of the year dating back to December 2016 when the XRT lost 4.2 percent over a five-day period.
Ascena — the parent of clothing companies such as Ann Taylor and dressbarn — saw its shares plunge more than 30 percent earlier in the week, after it adjusted its second-half outlook to reflect worse-than-expected business conditions.
"The specialty retail sector is in a period of unprecedented secular change that is disruptive to traditional business models, and we believe operating conditions in our sector are likely to remain challenging for the next 12 to 24 months," Ascena CEO David Jaffe said.
Meanwhile, Foot Locker's same-store sales are falling short of expectations — what seems to be a growing trend across the retail industry.