By Phil Wahba
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Spring was in full swing for some U.S. retailers, with shoppers spending again in April after the weather warmed up.
A number of large U.S. retailers, including Costco Wholesale Corp
A group of 10 retailers - which does not include such giants as Wal-Mart Stores Inc
"The April performance was strong and suggested that pent-up demand helped," said Michael Niemira, chief economist at the International Council of Shopping Centers.
There were hopeful signs for retailers after months of heavy discounting that slammed sales and profit margins in winter.
L Brands, whose shares rose 4.8 percent, raised its profit forecast and said it had been able to scale back promotions. Its comparable sales rose 8 percent.
Costco reported a 5 percent increase, better than the 3.2 percent analysts had projected, and its shares rose 2.5 percent.
Drugstore operators Walgreen Co
Despite the strong numbers, the broad S&P Retail Index <.SPXRT> fell 0.17 points to 837.08 as some analysts said there was still reason for caution about consumer spending.
"You can't put too much credence into these numbers when you have a big bounce from delayed purchases," said Craig Johnson, president of consulting firm Customer Growth Partners.
Johnson warned against reading too much into the improving unemployment numbers, given the slow growth in low-wage jobs and the rise in the number of people dropping out of the workforce.
Several other retailers reported large jumps in April results, reflecting shoppers' continuing appetite for bargains.
Discount apparel retail Stein Mart Inc
Youth retailers The Buckle Inc
(Editing by Jilian Mincer, Nick Zieminski and Jonathan Oatis)