VF Corp. ( VFC), the largest apparel manufacturer, posted better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday, providing some relief for the retail industry. The S&P Retail Index was up 1% to 342.83. Shares of VF continued to rise on Wednesday, trading up at one point by more than 8% from the Tuesday close, at $65.52, while Liz Claiborne ( LIZ) grew 1% to $2.84. Target ( TGT) gained 3% to $41.22, Nordstrom ( JWN) jumped 2% to $23.83 and Talbots ( TLB) increased 3% to $4.16. During the quarter, the company, whose brands include Wrangler, Lee, Vans and North Face, earned $75.5 million, or 68 cents a share, compared with $104 million, or 94 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected a profit of 59 cents. Revenue declined 11% to $1.47 billion from $1.66 billion last year. VF Corp. also reaffirmed its full-year outlook in the range of $4.70 to $5 a share, compared with $5.42 a year ago.