The DOW was lower today, with the index retreating to 12212.80, down -178.46 points, or -1.44%. A major contributor to the lower session was the decline in Wal-Mart shares of around 3.1%, after the massive US retailer indicated that last quarter sales were down 1.8%, falling the most in nine months in New York trading.
However, Wal-Mart still posted net income of $6.06 billion, or $1.70 a share, up 27%, but missed its own forecasts of $4.35 to $4.50 a share, compared with the average analyst estimate of $4.44.
Wal-Mart has suffered significantly from the recession, and has changed its focus since trying to revive its American operations, byreducing prices and luring back the low income earners it built its business on.
CEO Mike Duke, 61, commented in his reporting presentation:
Many of the fourth-quarter problems stemmed from merchandise assortment and presentation issues that contributed to customer traffic declines. There is no greater priority” than improving U.S. sales.