Target: 3Q profit beats the Street on clothing sales and credit

Shoppers are still tight with the buck, but they're starting to buy clothes again -- and they're using their store cards -- according to Target Corp. (TGT), which reported earnings that easily beat expectations.

Target reported an 18.4% increase in profits for the third quarter over that period last year, even with a modest 1.4% increase in sales and a 1.6% drop in same-store sales. Net income of $436 million, or 58 cents per share, easily beat Wall Street's expectations of 50 cents per share.