Wal-Mart, Target Predict Some Favorable Trends

Both Wal-Mart Stores and Target Corp., Minneapolis, forecast some near-term improvements in business conditions for their companies during their recent conference calls discussing year-end earnings. Target said consumer spending for non-essential items appears to be on the rise, while Wal-Mart cited an easing of the deflationary pressures that have limited sales growth in food

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Both Wal-Mart Stores here and Target Corp., Minneapolis, forecast some near-term improvements in business conditions for their companies during their recent conference calls discussing year-end earnings.

Target said consumer spending for non-essential items appears to be on the rise, while Wal-Mart cited an easing of the deflationary pressures that have limited sales growth in food categories.

In the fourth quarter, Target said both sales and profits

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