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Target Slides on Sluggish Sales

It says December sales are "below plan."

Shares of


(TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report

traded down Tuesday following the company's report that its December sales are "below plan."

At about 11 a.m. EST, the company's stock was off 43 cents, or 1.2%, to $36.69. Target shares traded as low as $36.19 earlier in the day.

The downturn in the company's stock followed Target's disappointing sales report late Monday. The company reported that its overall sales, which include results from its Target stores, Mervyn's and Marshall Field's divisions, were below plan last week and for the month to date. More disturbingly, the company reported that sales at its Target division, which has been its strongest-performing operation, were also below plan last week and for the month.

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Target had projected that same-store sales at its Target division would grow 5% to 7% in December. Overall, the company expects its same-store sales to grow 4% to 6% this month. Same-store sales compare like results at outlets open more than one year.

Target's weak sales report echoed a similarly disappointing report from rival


(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

, which

reported Monday that its December sales are coming in at the low end of its 3% to 5% plan.