Two groups getting hit today on different pieces of news:
1) home builders down 2 to 4 percent as the Case Shiller home price index for December was weaker than expected, and
2) airlines down 3 to 6 percent as the 7 percent jump in oil today pushes that commodity to the highest levels since late 2008. Fuel is the second highest expense for airlines, after labor, often accounting for 20 percent or more of costs.
Wal-Mart U.S. comp store sales down 7 consecutive quarters?
Mike Duke, Wal-Mart Stores CEO, said "there is no greater priority...than getting sales back into positive territory."
While they announced a four-point program to deliver better results, you can bet that price wars are a key part of that strategy. That is not good news for the rest of the retail world. An angry, slightly humbled WMT is not a beast you want to stir up.
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