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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wal-Mart has better than expected profits
Shares in pre-market trading up
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Tuesday posted a quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations, helped by strong U.S. sales at its namesake discount stores. Profit fell to $3.79 billion, or 96 cents per share, for its fiscal fourth quarter that ended January 31, from $4.096 billion, or $1.02 share, a year ago.

Economic stimulus a good beginning, urban leaders say
Urban advocates, including big-city mayors, said U.S. President Barack Obama's economic stimulus will soften the impact of the recession in their communities and create jobs. The package includes billions of dollars for mass transit, public housing, Medicaid and assistance for low-income children. The Washington Post (17 Feb.)

Indexes point to slowdown in U.S. economic decline
Some economic indicators that are not widely followed are starting to suggest that the downturn in the U.S., while still continuing, is starting to lose some of its speed. The Commerce Department reported home sales rising 1% in January, after falling six months in a row. Two measures of retail and manufacturing ticked upward last month, and the decline in U.S. trade volume improved from 9.4% in November to 5.7% in December. The New York Times (16 Feb.)

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