So much for the idea that consumers aren't spending.
Tuesday's round of earnings reports from industry leaders Home Depot and TJX, along with a fifth straight quarter of domestic same-store sales growth at Wal-Mart, dispelled some market fears that consumers are keeping their wallets clamped shut as the holidays quickly approach.
The results — which sent shares of each of these three retailers higher in early trading — solidified the belief that shoppers aren't simply saying no to retail. Instead, they're being selective about where they spend their money, with home improvement and value stores at the top of their wish lists.
Underscoring that point, the spate of reports stood in stark contrast to disappointing results from Urban Outfitters and Dillard's on Monday, as well as weak performance from the department store set last week. Those results had sent retail stocks in a tailspin, with Nordstrom, Macy's and Urban Outfitters all suffering steep declines.
Despite Tuesday's more optimistic results, retail stocks continued to be under pressure, falling into negative territory before reversing their losses.