Retail seems to be an industry not for the faint of heart, at least for investors.

The industry seems to waver between the brink of collapse and a bull market. OK, maybe "bull market" is a bit extreme, but even phrases like "rally mode" and "bounce back," which have been thrown around on Thursday with vigor, seem a bit much.

Department store chains such as Kohl's Corp. (KSS - Get Report)  , J.C. Penney Co. (JCP - Get Report)  , Macy's Inc. (M - Get Report)  and Target Corp. (TGT - Get Report)  moved higher, while the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT - Get Report)  added nearly 1%.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF - Get Report) rocketed 17% after reporting a narrower loss than expected for its second quarter. Yes, a narrower-than-expected loss. What a buy sign amirite?

Tiffany & Co. (TIF - Get Report)  , however, slipped 1.3% despite reporting a better-than-expected second quarter. The jewelry retailer earned 92 cents a share, against 84 cents a year earlier and estimates of 86 cents.

In short, it's confounding, and unless you are in the boardroom or the business development office at one of these retailers and you know something the public doesn't, it's really hard to make a case for any of these guys just yet.

You'll have to wait until tomorrow for happenings from Jackson Hole, Wyo., where central bankers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, will convene for the highly anticipated annual Economic Policy Symposium. Today, we dig in to some of current trading tendencies. Sure, it's the dog days of summer, but they could still shed light on what to do with your portfolio.

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Photo of the day: Times passes on at a classic New York property

New York's famed Plaza Hotel is likely to change hands once again as the Sahara Group of India has hired Jones Lang LaSalle to sell its stake in the luxury property. Reports from the Wall Street Journal speculated that the hotel could fetch about $2 million per room, which would value the Sahara Group's stake at about $560 million. The Plaza has played home to many notable events and films, including the 1992 film "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." In it appears now-President Donald Trump alongside a young Macaulay Culkin, who cross paths at the hotel that was then owned by Trump. Twenty-five years later, Trump is navigating the egos of American business leaders and global influencers rather than navigating Kevin McCallister to the lobby of the Plaza. Trump purchased the hotel in 1988 for $390 million only to sell a nearly 50% stake to Citi in 1992 in exchange for forgiveness of $250 million in debt. In 1995 Trump completely exited his stake in the hotel.

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