Wal-Mart posted strong results, while sector leaders such as Costco and Target, department store groups Federated, Nordstrom and JC Penney, and fashion retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch all followed suit.
The discount sector was the only area to disappoint, with TJX and Family Dollar both announcing poor trading updates.
Wal-Mart reported same-store sales up 4.5 per cent, in line with analyst expectations, and is predicting sales to rise by between 3 per cent and 5 per cent for July. It has averaged 2.8 per cent growth each month for the January to May period.
The company has been upgrading its merchandise to target higher-income consumers, who are less vulnerable to the economy.