Rough month for retailers, but some see ray of light

U.S. consumer caution continued in July, as retail chains, for the most part, posted large declines in same-store sales. However, some retailers forecast improving results in the quarters ahead. Same store sales (sss) are a key sector barometer, as they exclude results from new stores, which generally have higher sales due to the "newness" of the brand in a location.

JC Penney (JCP) said July sss plummeted 12.3 percent. However, JCP decreased its earnings per share (eps) loss estimate for Q2 to a loss of 1 cent per share, compared to the First Call Q2 eps estimate of a loss of 8 cents per share.