NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Are we seeing a bottoming in retail? Today we got lackluster numbers out of Kohl's (KSS), which lowered its fourth quarter EPS guidance, citing unanticipated expenses in servicing e-commerce business and January sales lower than planned. And the stock ended up on the day. And Ann Taylor (ANN). Remember, the stock had already declined from $55 to $50. We also had Ann Inc ANN reporting fourth quarter sales and comps below consenss with soft traffic and tepid consumer spending affecting the company. Stock reaction? Up. The stock had already dropped from $38 and $31. How much more room would it have to go? And we even got some positive numbers. L Brands (LB)-parent of Victoria's Secret-reported comps of 9% vs 0.5% consensus. And Costco (COST) reported comps of 4% vs 3.4% consensus. And, by the way, while we've heard calls for the "death of the mall," it is more about a continued shift online versus a total death-not to mention that many of these retailers have very high growth online businesses.
The bottom line: We have seen a bloodbath in retail since the beginning of the year, with only a couple of exceptions of outperofmrance like Michael Kors (KORS) and Under Armour (UA). But the retail sector performance today could mark the beginning of a bottoming.
Oh, and it's just a tad warmer outside too.