(Stock prices updated.)



) -- Perhaps Labor Day was just what retailers needed to get things moving.

As schools resume and the weather cools, retail sales rose 0.6% during the first week of the month, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers and Goldman Sachs.

September is a crucial month for retailers. Up against easier comparisons, analysts and investors expect retailers to report rosier numbers. If they fail to do so, it could spell trouble for the second-half of the year.

But ICSC still expects same-store sales to slip 2% during the month.

Retail shares were mostly in the green Wednesday afternoon, with the S&P Retail Index up 0.4% to 372.29.

Rite Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

was the biggest mover, soaring 15% to $1.71 in afternoon trading.

Teen retailers were also active, with

Urban Outfitters

(URBN) - Get Report

climbing 5% to $30.49 and

Pacific Sunwear of California


jumped 4% to $5.13.

Urban Outfitters released its quarter-to-date results this morning, which showed that its same-store sales are down about 6%. UBS analyst Roxanne Meyer said while the company is not immune to the economic turmoil, it is in the best position to come out of the downturn and is the most attractive long-term growth story.

Department stores were on the move:



(M) - Get Report

rose 3% to $15.89,



spiked 5% to $65.60,

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

increased 2% to $31.19 and


(DDS) - Get Report

grew 5% to $12.44.

Women's retailer



fell 3% to $6.90 despite posting a

narrower loss

in its second quarter.

But shares of other boomers were up.

AnnTaylor Stores


grew 4% to $14.88,

Chico's FAS

(CHS) - Get Report

rose 5% to $13.44 and

Coldwater Creek


increased 4% to $7.03.


(EBAY) - Get Report

jumped 4% to $22.66, after being upgraded to outperform by Bernstein Research. Analyst Jeff Lindsay said the company's core market place business is improving, as is its auto sales.

The company's sooner-than-expected spin-out of Skype is also a positive.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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