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How Ugly Will Earnings Be for Macy's?

If fresh commentary from executives at some top clothing and accessory brands on the current state of U.S. department stores is any indication, investors may want to cover one eye reading Macy's (M) second-quarter earnings release Tuesday.

"As U.S. department stores' business continues to be soft, the wholesale channel proved to be the largest driver of our [sales] decline during the [second] quarter," Fossil (FOSL) Chairman and CEO Kosta Kartsotis told analysts on a call Tuesday evening. "We also expect the challenging retail environment to persist -- weaker performance in our wholesale channel, particularly in the U.S. where the business is most challenged, is likely to continue."

Kartsotis' comments come in the wake of the watchmaker reporting an 11% plunge in second-quarter sales in its Americas division, fueled in large part by tepid demand for watches...