Retailers are reporting solid gains in July in a key revenue figure, helped by hot weather and clearance sales.
As merchants reported their sales early Thursday, many came in better than expected. Costco Wholesale Corp. and Target Corp. reported a gain above expectations.
Limited Brands Inc., which runs Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, said the revenue figure rose double what analysts expected. Gap Inc. also far surpassed predictions.
As the back-to-school season kicks off, teen clothing sellers were mixed. Wet Seal and Zumiez both missed expectations. But Hot Topic and American Eagle reported strong second-quarter figures.
The figures are based on revenue at stores open at least a year. That is considered a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes newly opened and closed stores.