Thursday was a strong day on Wall Street, as major indexes climbed dramatically on a more favorable outlook for reconciliation of trade disputes. China chose not to escalate tensions further, backing off possible retaliatory measures following a brief volley between it and the U.S. over the past few days. Moreover, retail earnings played a key role in boosting investor sentiment. Guess? (GES -1.01%), Burlington Stores (BURL -3.03%), and Shoe Carnival (SCVL 0.38%) were among the top performers. Here's why they did so well.

Guess? raises full-year guidance

Shares of Guess? rocketed nearly 21% higher after the jeans maker reported solid results for its second quarter. Revenue was up almost 6% from the previous year's period, with particularly good performance in the European market. Wholesale business in the Americas segment was also robust, helping to offset more tepid performance in Asia and in the Americas retail business. Although adjusted net income fell year over year, Guess? called out the good prospects for its direct-to-consumer business in boosting full-year guidance. If the holidays go well, Guess? hopes to make up for what's thus far been a poor 2019.

Midsection of shirt with Guess logo on it.

Image source: Guess?

Burlington booms higher

Discount retailer Burlington Stores saw its stock climb almost 19% following favorable numbers in its second-quarter financial results. Revenue jumped more than 10%, pushing adjusted earnings per share higher by 19%, and comparable-store sales growth accelerated to 3.8% for the period. Burlington did a great job of inventory management during the period, selling down its backlog and putting it in a good position to take advantage of solid conditions with suppliers. Many top consumer goods stocks have focused on giving bargain-hunting shoppers the value they want, and Burlington is doing a great job of building trust with its customers and expanding its scope to cover a wider range of products.

Shoe Carnival has a party

Finally, shares of Shoe Carnival soared 19%. The footwear and accessories retailer reported a 1.4% rise in comparable-store sales during the second quarter of its 2019 fiscal year, and despite seeing flat revenue year over year, Shoe Carnival boosted its earnings per share by 5% from year-ago levels. Even more reassuring was its early outlook on the current quarter, with CEO Cliff Sifford saying that back-to-school season is seeing a healthier 3.5% comps growth rate for the first three weeks of August. Shoe Carnival had a good holiday season last year, and shareholders are hoping for an encore to finish 2019.