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J.C. Penney’s revenue in stores open at least one year rose 2.9 percent, slightly missing the 3.1 percent gain analysts expected. The company said consumers are shopping closer to the time they need items such as back-to-school products.

High-end retailers reported strong results as well. Saks’ revenue in stores open at least one year rose 6.5 percent, nearly double the 3.8 percent gain analysts predicted.

Nordstrom’s revenue rose 7.5 percent, better than the 4.3 percent analysts expected.

Limited Brands’ revenue in stores open at least a year rose 12 percent, almost triple the 4.1 percent analysts expected.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. saw a 13 percent increase, far above the 3.6 percent rise analysts expected. The preppy teen retailer has been lowering prices in an effort to entice shoppers into its stores. It cut costs by 12 percent during the month and 14 percent year-to-date. Results sent its shares up 8 percent in premarket trading.

Target said sales of food and health care products were strong but clothing sales dropped off in the last week of the month. Its revenue in stores open at least a year rose 1.3 percent in September, missing analyst predictions of a 1.9 percent rise. Target expects the figure to rise in the low single digits in October.

The Gap reported that revenue in stores open at least one year fell 2 percent, worse than the flat result analysts expected.

In a recorded monthly sales call the company said that, because of the weaker-than-expected sales, the company expects “some pressure in October to clear through fall inventory in advance of the holiday,” which could mean heavy discounts.