Looks like Costco's disappointing August store sales was an anomaly. The good news is that retailers beat expectations, almost across the board. A number of retailers noted that some school districts in Texas and Florida went back to school a week later, which gave a boost in August. Bears, however, are noting that estimates were very conservative to begin with; they're calling it a non-event and advising to sell the strength in retail.
Wal-Mart, JC Penney, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor all handily beat expectations.Saks was a big surprise, notably better, up 18% for August, twice the estimate. Teen retailers like American Eagle also beat and reiterated Q3 earnings.