NEW YORK (
) -- Retailers are taking a blood bath after consumer confidence data for February came in significantly lower than expected.
The Consumer Conference Board said its confidence index dropped to a level oof 46 during the month, its lowest level in 10 months. This sent the S&P Retail Index falling 0.4% to 411.83 in afternoon trading.
The department store sector took a hit, even after several positive earnings reports.
, for one, said its profit more than doubled in its fourth quarter, its best quarterly profit in nearly three years.
The department store received a boost from its Kmart chain, which posted a sales gain for the first time since 2002.
Still, shares of Sears are slipping 1.4% to $94.28 in afternoon trading.
is down 1.8% to $27.44 and
is off 1.6% to $6.97.
is the only store in the department-store sector that's in the green, after Macy's said it
. The company said it received a boost from its My Macy's localization initiative, a surge in online sales and a turnaround at its Bloomingdale's chain.
Macy'salso provided full-year earnings guidance in-line with analysts' estimates.
Shares of Macy's are inching up 0.7% to $18.60.
Barnes & Noble's
stock is also being weighed down after
While Barnes & Noble did receive a boost in its third-quarter from the Nook e-reader, the company expects a fourth-quarter loss between 85 cents and $1.15 a share, greater than the 61 cents analysts forecast. For the year, Barnes & Noble foresees earnings in the range of 23 cents to 53 cents, while Wall Street is looking for 58 cents a share. It expects a sales drop of between 3% and 5% for the current fiscal year.
As a result, shares of Barnes & Noble are falling 4.9% to $20.46. And the news is also bringing down
, which is sinking 5.3% to $1.44 in afternoon trading.
, meanwhile, is continuing its downward trend, a day after
reporting fourth-quarter profit and sales that matched Wall Street's consensus
Still, investors were hoping for more upside to results, and sent shares of RadioShack declining 7.7% to $19.05 in afternoon trading.
Other notable decliners include
, which is tanking 5% to $10.30 and
, which is falling 4.7% to 38 cents.
There are a few significant gainers, however, in a day filled with losers.
is surging 20.4% to $2.42, after the
Wall Street Journal
reported that private-equity firm
is also up 2% to $30.91, after
providing significant signs of optimism for 2010
. Aside from returning to a profit in the fourth-quarter, Home Depot also lifted its dividend and said it significantly increased its capital expenditures.
, which is down 1.2% to $22.80 today, saw weaker U.S. sales than Home Depot and a weaker outlook range than its rival.
is advancing 2.7% to $6.83 after it, too, reported a narrower fourth-quarter loss, as its sales topped forecasts.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
>>Home Depot Shows Signs of Confidence
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