Despite some good news from individual retailers, the sector was marred in red Wednesday afternoon.

The S&P Retail Index fell by a little more than 1% in afternoon trading to 334.49, as companies across the sector headed lower.


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J.C. Penney

both had some good news for investors, but neither was exactly rewarded. Gap said it plans on remodeling 50 of its Old Navy stores, a plan that could help the company regain market share. Its stock slipped by 2% to $16.68.

J.C. Penney's CEO said during the Reuters Global Retail Summit that the

fourth-quarter could hold the most potential

for the company, which should start to see the benefit of new style at affordable prices, Reuters reported. Shares of the department store fell by 2% to $28.47.

Other notable decliners included


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Rite Aid

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Nike fell 3% to $56.78, Rite Aid sank 4% to $1.54, Target saw a 2% dip to $40.18, while rival

Wal-Mart Stores

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fell by 1.4% to $49.90.

Across the board the discount sector took hits, including


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Costco Wholesale

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BJ's Wholesale Club

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There was one standout, the exception that proves the rule:

99 Cents Only Stores


. The retailer topped New York Stock Exchange's list of biggest advancers, soaring more than 17% to $12.57 in afternoon trading.

On Tuesday the company said it

swung to a profit

in its fourth quarter -- evidence of the fact that consumers have just about 99 cents to their name.

The other unexpected standouts were



, which managed to climb 3% to $3.89,

Pacific Sunwear of California


, which rose 6% to $3.91, and

Coldwater Creek


, which jumped 6% to $6.05.

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