Target, Lowe's boost full-year sales forecasts

Earnings season continued Wednesday for some of the biggest names in U.S. retail.

U.S. store traffic at Target surged an eye-popping 13 percent during the third quarter and that lead to higher sales, as Target held the line on store prices during a time when inflation has been soaring. It also continues to benefit from its investment in shopping options like quick home delivery and drive-thru pick up.

Target got an early start to the holiday shopping season by launching promotional deals and boosting inventories to make sure it has the products consumers are looking for as the industry grapples with shipping logjams and supply shortages.

The strategy is paying off: Total sales, which includes both online and in-store, jumped more than expected to $25.6 billion.

Target has been a far better investment this year compared to its larger rival Walmart. Shares of Target are up about 50 percent year to date, while Walmart shares are little changed.

Lowe's, the number two home improvement chain, also released third-quarter results.

A housing boom is boosting demand for tools and building materials, especially among big-spending professional contractors who are rushing to complete jobs put off during the height of the health crisis.

Sales and earnings topped forecasts and Lowe's boosted its full-year sales forecast.

Shares of Lowe's are up about 52 percent so far this year.