Retail stocks are trading as if the entire industry is going under

Nicholas Eckhart

Look: Retail is hard.

This week we saw Gap whiff on earnings and get crushed. Fitch also downgraded the company’s debt to junk status.

On Wednesday, Macy’s issued one of the most depressing press releases you’ll ever read from a company. The stock was down 10% after the news.

Office Depot and Staples had their proposed merger halted by a judge, sending their stocks tanking.

And with all this doom and gloom, the entire industry is getting hammered on Wednesday.

The “XRT” exchange-traded fund, which tracks the retail sector, was down 3.5% early Wednesday, and the carnage in some individual names was really stunning.

Here are some the highlights (or lowlights):

    Macy’s: -15% J.C. Penney: -2.5% Sears Holdings: -5% Target: -5% Nordstrom: -7% Kohl’s: -6% American Eagle: -3% Express: -4% Abercrombie & Fitch: -4% Buckle: -4.6% Urban Outfitters: -5.6% TJX Companies: -2.8% Ross Stores: -4% Office Depot: -40% Staples: -18% Best Buy: -4% Bed Bath & Beyond: -4.7% Restoration Hardware: -6.6% Pier 1 Imports: -7.7% Williams-Sonoma: -4.9%

And so on.