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  • Aug 18- Wal-Mart Stores Inc reported weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings and lowered its annual forecast on Tuesday, citing higher costs from adding worker hours as well as weaker margins in its U.S. pharmacy business. Wal-Mart lowered its forecast for the year ending in January to a range of $4.40 to $4.70 from its outlook of $4.70 to $5.05 in February.

  • Net sales $24.83 bln vs est. By Nandita Bose and Sruthi Ramakrishnan. Aug 18- An improving U.S. housing market helped Home Depot Inc beat quarterly sales forecasts on Tuesday, and the world's No. 1 home-improvement retailer lifted its full-year earnings and revenue forecasts.

  • ATHENS, Aug 18- Alexis Tsipras has presided over a near-death experience for the Greek financial system and performed a U-turn on resisting austerity. With his ministers openly discussing the possibility of a snap election, Tsipras seems nearly ready to exploit his enduring popularity in Greece and further consolidate his position after seven turbulent...

  • *Wal-Mart falls after weaker-than-expected results. Aug 18- U.S. stocks erased most of their losses in late morning trading on Tuesday, as strong results from Home Depot and strong housing data helped offset a slump in Chinese shares and Wal-Mart's weaker-than-expected results. Home Depot rose as much as 3.4 percent to a record high of $123.80 after the home...

  • MOST TREASURIES TURN FLAT, ERASING EARLIER PRICE LOSSES, 10- YEAR NOTE YIELDS FALL TO 2.18 PCT.

  • Aug 18- Puerto Rico may attract high-yield municipal closed-end funds to its first sale in public markets since its governor said in June that the island's debt was unpayable, Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday ahead of the $750 million sale of water authority bonds. A return of municipal closed-end fund managers to Puerto Rico would be a source of liquidity for the...

  • "The problem in China is that the markets haven't been released for free and open trading and until that happens there is going to continue to be downside pressure," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas. Earlier, China's main Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen 300 indexes both lost more than 6 percent...

  • Earnings 80 cents/ share vs est 76 cents. Aug 18- Retailer TJX Cos Inc reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly comparable store sales as bargain-hungry shoppers flocked to its outlets. "It was great to see that comp sales were entirely driven by customer traffic- our fifth consecutive quarter of sequential traffic improvement," CEO Carol Meyrowitz...

  • But bond investors were relieved that consumer prices in Britain ticked up 0.1 percent in July year-on-year after slipping back to zero in June. The concerns over the weakening inflation outlook have ratcheted up expectations of further central bank stimulus in the euro zone, while they could also scupper plans for Britain and the United States to raise...

  • LONDON, Aug 18- Gold fell on Tuesday, as the dollar rebounded following upbeat U.S. housing data that supported views of a looming interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve. Spot gold snapped initial gains and was down 0.5 percent at $1,111.71 an ounce by 1419 GMT, while U.S. gold for December delivery fell 0.7 percent to $1,110.20 an ounce.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 18- The dollar rose against the euro and yen on Tuesday, getting a lift from data showing U.S. housing starts neared an eight-year peak in July, bolstering expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as next month. The British pound shot to a seven-week high of $1.5717 against the dollar. U.S. housing starts rose last month as...

  • *Wal-Mart falls after weaker-than-expected results. Aug 18- Wall Street open lower on Tuesday, weighed down by a 6 percent slump in Chinese shares and Wal-Mart's weaker-than-expected quarterly results. Wal-Mart shares fell as much as 3.2 percent to a nearly 2-1/ 2 year low of $69.58 and were the biggest drag on the Dow Jones industrial average.

  • *Qatar under scrutiny as it builds World Cup 2022 sites. DUBAI, Aug 18- Qatar has delayed introducing a new system designed to make sure firms pay salaries fully and on time, a Doha newspaper reported on Tuesday, as the country faces scrutiny over the rights of migrant workers building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup. Amnesty International has warned the new system...

  • NEW YORK, Aug 18- Bay-Li, Car-Li and Hay-Li have had a rough day. "Absolutely, they know they are spoiled," says owner Stephanie Patterson of Wooster, Ohio, who feeds her little canine friends Merrick-brand culinary creations. " Merrick's " French Country Cafe" recipe features a blend of duck, carrots, Yukon Gold potatoes and garden peas.

  • The big splash came when Netflix Inc announced on Aug. 4 that it would start offering new parents up to a year of paid leave. Not bad, considering paid maternity leave in the United States is usually about 30 days, according to Mary Tavarozzi, a senior consultant with benefit consultant group Towers Watson. On the heels of Netflix's announcement, a number of other...

  • LONDON, Aug 18- Wal-Mart's British supermarket chain Asda slumped to its worst quarterly sales performance in the 16 years it has been owned by the U.S. group, with results on Tuesday highlighting its struggles in the face of an onslaught from the discounters. Walmart does not break out profits for its British operation, which trades mainly from large...

  • Aug 18- Struggling teen apparel retailer Abercrombie& Fitch Co said it created six senior positions as it looks to turn around its Abercrombie& Fitch and abercrombie kids brands. Abercrombie said on Tuesday it had hired designers Aaron Levine from Ralph Lauren Corp and Kristina Szasz from PVH Corp to head design at its A&F mens and womens units, respectively.

  • Aug 18- Wall Street opened lower on Tuesday following a 6 percent slump in Chinese shares and disappointing quarterly results from Wal-Mart.

  • COLOMBO, Aug 18- Sri Lanka's ruling United National Party has won decisive gains in a general election, final results showed on Tuesday, putting it in a position to form a stable government after eight months of minority rule. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's center-right party won 106 seats, seven short of a clear majority, election officials said.

  • US TREASURIES EXTEND PRICE LOSSES, 10- YEAR NOTE YIELDS INCREASE TO 2.20 PCT.