WAL-MART STORES SUFFERS 3RD-QUARTER PROFIT PINCH

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here last week said its margins were squeezed in the third quarter ended Oct. 31, primarily because of higher apparel inventories and resulting markdowns, but its food sales remained strong.e-digits.Overall, U.S. comparable-store sales were up 6.1% during the period, including a 5.7% gain at the Wal-Mart Stores division and an 8% increase at Sam's Club.The company

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here last week said its margins were squeezed in the third quarter ended Oct. 31, primarily because of higher apparel inventories and resulting markdowns, but its food sales remained strong.

e-digits.

Overall, U.S. comparable-store sales were up 6.1% during the period, including a 5.7% gain at the Wal-Mart Stores division and an 8% increase at Sam's Club.

The company said its comparable-store sales trends improved as the year prog

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