After enjoying the biggest single-day gains of the summer on Monday, stocks waffled between positive and negative territory for most of Tuesday's trading. When all was said and done, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) managed to eke out a tiny gain, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) and Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) indexes incurred modest declines.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow 0.02% 5.28
S&P 500 (0.05%) (1.23)
Nasdaq (0.11%) (7.22)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Wall Street sign with Broad Street sign and an American flag in the background

Image source: Getty Images.

Retail stocks had a particularly tough session today, with SPDR S&P Retail ETF (NYSEMKT:XRT) falling 2.7%. Consumer goods stocks fared much better; the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLP) gained 0.5%.

As for individual stocks, underwhelming earnings reports from Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP) and Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS) left shares of the two specialty retailers reeling today.

Advance Auto Parts investors hit the brakes

Advance Auto Parts stock plunged 20.3% after the company confirmed that second-quarter sales rose just 0.3% year over year to $2.26 billion -- including flat comparable-store sales -- and translated to a 16.8% decline in adjusted earnings per share to $1.58. Analysts' consensus estimates had called for adjusted earnings of $1.65 per share on roughly the same revenue.

Nevertheless, CEO Tom Greco remained positive, noting the company "continued to close the comp sales performance gap versus the industry in Q2 while more than doubling year-to-date free cash flow." To be sure, Advance Auto Parts' free cash flow so far in 2017 has increased 105.7% year over year to $145 million.

Looking forward, however, the company also expects the industry headwinds it has faced in the first half to continue through the end of the year. As such, Advance Auto Parts anticipates comparable-store sales will decline in the range of 1% to 3%, while its adjusted operating income rate will fall 200 to 300 basis points from 2016. Advance Auto Parts will also continue reducing inventory levels to improve cash flow, and so will encounter further gross margin headwinds going forward.

Dick's Sporting Goods misses its own guidance

Shares of Dick's Sporting Goods fell 23% after the company announced that second-quarter revenue declined 9.6% year over year to $2.16 billion, including a 0.1% increase in consolidated same-store sales. Adjusted net income also grew 17% to $0.96 per share. However, last quarter Dick's told investors to expect higher adjusted earnings per share of $1.02 to $1.07, and higher consolidated same-store sales growth of 2% to 3%. 

"In this very competitive and dynamic marketplace, we were able to deliver a significant increase in our bottom line from last year," stated Chairman and CEO Edward Stack. "We continued to capture market share and generated strong results in eCommerce, footwear and golf, although sales were pressured by weakness in hunting."

For full-year 2017, Dick's now expects consolidated same-store sales in the range of flat to a low-single-digit decline from 2016, which should translate to adjusted earnings per diluted share of $2.80 to $3.00. That's well below Wall Street's latest prediction for full-year adjusted earnings of $3.63 per share.

That's not to say this was a terrible quarter from Dick's Sporting Goods. But given its relative underperformance and disappointing forward guidance, it's no surprise shares fell today.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.