Retailers rallied on Thursday on some good news in the sector. The S&P Retail Index climbed 4% to 355.62 led up by some big winners like eBay ( EBAY), Amazon.com ( AMZN) and, surprisingly, women's apparel retailers. eBay soared 8% to $21.10 a day after the online retailer reported better-than-expected earnings. While profit slumped 29%, the company beat analysts' forecast and issued a third-quarter forecast higher than Wall Street's expectations. Amazon also made a big move on Wednesday, purchasing online shoe retailer Zappos.com. The company said it will buy Zappos for about $807 million in stock and will pay $40 million in cash and stock to Zappos employees. Shares of Amazon grew 5.5% in afternoon trading to $93.70. Women's retailers, a sector that had been under pressure months before the recession actually began, showed some signs of hope on Thursday. Coldwater Creek ( CWTR) said that while it still expects a second-quarter loss between 5 cents and 7 cents a share, there are some improving business trends. Shares of the company rose 10% to $6.19 in afternoon trading and sent up shares of other retailers in the sector. AnnTaylor Stores ( ANN) soared 16% to $9.93, Chico's FAS ( CHS) jumped 7.5% to $10.90, New York & Company ( NWY) shot up 14% to $3.60 and Talbots ( TLB) bounced 10% to $4.52.
While overall the retail sector was in the green, there were a few losers. Pacific Sunwear of California ( PSUN) said it expects a bigger-than-expected loss in its second quarter as sales remain weak. The news sent shares tumbling 11% to $3.03 in afternoon trading. The company now expects a second-quarter loss between 22 cents and 24 cents a share, down from previous guidance of a loss in the range of 11 cents to 17 cents a share. Shares of Safeway ( SWY) also tanked more than 8% to $18.56 after the grocer
lowered its full-year outlook . While the company beat analysts' expectations, it said, looking forward, that full-year earnings will now fall between $1.70 and $1.90 a share, compared to previous guidance of $2.10 to $2.30 a share.