Recession fears may be mounting in certain parts of the U.S. economy, but Walmart and Target are signaling that the all-important American consumer is doing just fine.

The big-box discount retailers both beat sales expectations for the second quarter and raised their profit guidance for the full year, shrugging off concerns about tariffs, encroachment from Amazon.com and dispiriting results from retail peers like Macy's, J.C. Penney and Kohl's. Paired with bullish comments on the U.S. housing market this week from Home Depot and Lowe's, the outlook heading into the critical holiday period looks brighter.

"The consumer economy continues to motor along nicely," said Neil Saunders, an analyst at Global DataRetail. "Home improvement is an early indicator of economic distress and from Home Depot's numbers, there was no sign that the consumer is in a tailspin. Target and Walmart, both bellwethers for mainstream America, point to the same conclusion."

Walmart, Target and Home Depot — along with a few other recent star performers like Costco and Best Buy, who report in the coming weeks — have stood out by nailing the fundamentals of retail: price, assortment and convenience. Their products are affordable, with enough new stuff to keep people coming back, along with plenty of online buying options that appeal to busy shoppers. Plus their size and clout give them a leg up in negotiating tariff impacts with suppliers that smaller rivals don't have.

Take Target, which is remodeling 300 stores this year and has introduced about two dozen private and exclusive brands in key categories like apparel, home decor and booze. Or Walmart, which has figured out curbside fulfillment of grocery orders and will start offering in-home deliveries directly to shoppers' fridges this fall. Those offers make them unique in the sea of sameness that has let Amazon and digital upstarts grab market share from other retailers in recent years.

Target shares closed up 20.4% Wednesday to $103, opening at a record high.