BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here yesterday reported weaker-than-expected same-store sales for December and reduced its outlook for the fourth quarter. For the five-week period that ended Jan. 2, total U.S. comparable-store sales were up 1.7%, excluding fuel, reflecting a 1.9% gain in the Wal-Mart U.S. division and a 0.1% gain at Sam’s Club. Analysts had expected a gain of about 2.8%.
Wal-Mart said its comps were negatively impacted “by the difficult economy and severe w