J.C. Penney ( JCP) said on Monday that it expects May same-department store sales to rise by 2% to 3%. The Plano, Texas-based retailer also said sales in the first week of May exceeded expectations, led by the children's, shoes, fine jewelry and women's apparel categories. Catalog sales are expected to be fall by a percentage in the high single digits for the month, while at the company's Eckerd drugstores, comparable-store sales are expected to be about flat. The company will report its April same-store sales on Thursday, but had said in late April that sales at its department stores open at least a year were trending below its forecast for a percentage decrease in the low-single digits. March same-store sales decreased 5.5% for the five weeks ended March 29. Shares of the company were recently up 3.3% to $17.80.