NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Macy's (M) reports earnings on Wednesday before the open and Kohl's (KSS) reports on Thursday. Breaking down the retail sector is TheStreet's Laurie Kulikowski and Debra Borchardt.
Earnings estimates are calling for relatively stagnant revenue growth, Kulikowski said.
She added that third-quarter back-to-school sales were disappointing and the government shutdown in October could have also had an effect.
However, Kulikowski did admit that the monthly sales data, from the retailers that report them, have suggested the impact may not be as negative as investors are expecting.She went on to say that margins would be a key data point in the earnings reports, since many retailers have resorted to doing a lot of promotions in an effort to drive sales. Those deals are likely to continue into the holiday shopping season, Kulikowski suggested. Despite the less-than-stellar expectations from retail, the stocks continue to move higher. She attributed this to the overall market trend, where everything seems to be slowly pushing higher. In regards to many retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day, a move that seems "a little desperate," Kulikowski concluded that the stores are doing their best to fight against online retailers like Amazon (AMZN). -- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich. Follow @BretKenwell