What happened

Shares of Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLDQ) were falling today as investors continue to react to last week's retail earnings report and anticipate Sears' own quarterly report, which is due out later this month. Though there was no company-specific news out on Sears, the stock was down 5.5% as of 3:43 p.m. ET.

A men's section inside a Sears store

Image source: Sears.

So what

Nearly all of the ailing retail's rivals posted comparable sales growth in the fourth quarter, and the specific numbers show that other big-box chains are continuing to creep in on Sears' traditional strongholds. Best Buy, for example, posted a whopping 21% comparable sales growth in appliances, showing that the electronics retailer has been able to take advantage of the weakness at Sears, which was the leader in appliances for a long time. Meanwhile, J.C. Penney, which co-anchors about 300 malls with Sears, said it's also going to double down on appliances, making a thinly veiled reference to Sears when it referred to "a large competitor in this space donating market share."  It also said it would "aggressively pursue this unprecedented sales opportunity in 2018." 

Home Depot and Lowe's also saw solid growth with the help of appliances.

Now what

Though Sears hasn't reported its full fourth-quarter earnings report, the company did reveal dismal preliminary earnings numbers in February. Comparable sales were down 15.6%,  overall revenue fell 27.8% to $4.4 billion, and the company expects an adjusted bottom-line loss of $105 million to $305 million. Expect the stock to continue be volatile heading into earnings.

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