The Limited continued its recent strong performance, with same-store sales gains of 9.0 percent, compared with a 6.1 percent estimate.
Department store chain Macy's also rang up another strong month as its exclusive brands and targeted merchandising is resonating well with shoppers. It reported a same-store sales rise of 2.5 percent in October, beating analyst expectations of a 1.6 percent increase.
"While we experienced some softness in sales early in October given the unseasonably warm weather, we ended the month with a strong trend going into the holiday selling season," Macy's CEO Terry Lundgren said.
Limited, Zumiez and Macy's were among the retailers who raised their third-quarter earnings forecasts.
Luxury retailers also showed some momentum, with Saks posting an 8.1 percent jump in same-store sales, far ahead of the 2 percent gain analysts predicted. Nordstrom also topped estimates with a 2.7 percent increase.
Warehouse clubstore Costco also outpaced analysts estimates with same-store sales of 6.0 percent, compared with an analyst estimate of 4.6 percent.
The misses were also noteworthy, particularly in the teen apparel sector. Hot Topic posted a 8.5 percent decline in same-store sales, much wider than the 3.2 percent decline analysts had projected.
Aeropostale also looks as though it losing the pricing war that is being waged in the sector, as brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle continue to lower prices.
But several analysts expect that consumers will spend at holiday time, as many have been spending conservatively in order to build up their savings for holiday gifts.
"Overall, we're going to have a better holiday season than we will see a fall season, but I think...we need jobs to stimulate retail sales," Dana Telsey, chief research officer at Telsey Advisory Group. "What's going to get my retail sales growing is having that unemployment rate go lower."
Complete results follow: