NEW YORK (CBSNEWS.COM) – Shares of JCPenney slumped more than 6 percent on Tuesday after the surprise departure of CEO Marvin Ellison raised fresh concerns about the struggling 110-year-old retailer’s future. But Macy’s, which has faced its share of challenges, is on the upswing after reporting better-than-expected results last week and issuing bullish earnings guidance. That’s stoking investors’ hopes of a possible turnaround at the largest U.S. department store chain.

Shares of Macy’s have surged more than 31 percent this year, outperforming the S&P 500 index, which has gained about 2 percent. Penney shares have slumped more than 25 percent.

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In the category of retail disappointments, shares of Target plunged nearly 6 percent on Wednesday after the big-box retailer’s results fell short because of unseasonably cool spring weather. Performance was also hurt by price discounts and its $7 billion investment in revamping its 600 stores. Luxury brand Tiffany wound up on the plus side, reporting a blowout quarter that launched it shares by more than 23 percent. It also approved a $1 billion share-buyback plan and  forecast 2018 results that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations.

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Overall, however, retailers’ problems abound. During the recent Penney earnings conference call, Ellison described the industry as the “most challenging and competitive” it has been in 50 years.

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