What happened

Shares of Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN) were moving higher today as expectations for the company's upcoming third-quarter earnings report rose after a number of retail stocks posted better-than-expected earnings reports.

So what 

With its focus on hipsters and other urban millennials through brands such as its namesake Anthropologie and Free People, the company does not have a close peer in the public markets, but it still benefited as apparel retail stocks were surging across the board today due to strong results from GapAbercrombie & FitchFoot LockerRoss StoresHibbett SportsShoe Carnival, and others. The reports seem to buck the conventional wisdom that mall-based apparel retail is dying as companies have adapted to changing dynamics and comparable sales are improving.

An Anthropologie sign on top of a storefront

Image source: Urban Outfitters.

The news also makes investors more optimistic ahead of the all-important holiday season that's just around the corner.

Now what

Urban Outfitters is set to report third-quarter earnings Monday after the market closes. Analysts are expecting revenue to fall 0.2% to $861 million and earnings per share to decline from $0.40 to $0.33.  

Like other chains, Urban Outfitters has struggled to adapt to the rise of e-commerce, and its own CEO has said simply that there are too many clothing stores in the country, calling it a bubble.

However, the stock has been surging since its second-quarter report overcame a low bar as it is up 41% over the last three months. Given the low expectations coming into this round and the strong results from its peers, Urban could report to the upside once again come Monday.

Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.