NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on retail sales (all times local):
Unemployment hasn't been so low in years, wages are rising, consumer confidence is high and gasoline is cheap, creating high expectations for department stores this holiday season.
That's not what investors got in numbers released Thursday.
Department stores fell sharply before the opening bell Thursday, with bellwether Macy's down nearly 19 percent after posting worse-than-expected holiday sales.
The Cincinnati company also cut its full-year earnings and sales forecasts. The chain reported that same-store sales rose about 1 percent during November-December. Chairman and CEO Jeff Gennette said in a statement that holiday sales started out strong during Black Friday and Cyber Week, but softened in mid-December before picking up steam the week of Christmas.