During the third quarter, the low-price department store recorded revenue of $4.327 billion, slightly above the Thomson Reuters estimate of $4.325 billion. Its adjusted earnings per share came in at 80 cents, easily topping expectations for 70 cents.
Macy's, on the other hand, reported earnings that fell short of analysts' expectations. However, it raised its forecast for full-year comparable sales on owned and licensed items, saying they should decrease in the range of 2.5 percent to 3 percent. That compares with its prior outlook of a 3 percent to 4 percent decline.
"This was the week that people were concerned about in retail. The department stores is where there was the most negativity overall," Boss said. "The department stores, so far, have delivered."
More importantly, there is a sense of optimism looking forward, he added.
"The fourth quarter, the first quarter, you have easier compares and I think people are looking ahead to 2017 more so on the traffic aspect, and maybe we can see some more optimism."
— CNBC's Krystina Gustafson contributed to this report.
Disclosures: Macy's, J.C. Penney and Nordstrom are investment banking clients of JPMorgan. JPMorgan owns a position of $1 million or more in debt securities of JCP, M, JWN. JPMorgan and/or affiliate is market maker and/or liquidity provider. JPMorgan acted as lead/co-manager in public offering of equity and/or debt securities for JCP. JPMorgan and/or JPMorgan Chase employee is Nordstrom director/officer.