Wal-Mart February Sales Jump

February same-store sales rose 4%, the high end of Wal-Mart's range.
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reported an unexpectedly strong February, saying same-store sales rose 4% in the month, hitting the high end of its standing 2% to 4% range.

The world's biggest retailer reported solid early sales of Easter items and said food outsold general merchandise. The gain in same-store sales was mostly the result of higher customer tickets rather than higher traffic. "Ticket" refers to the average size of a single customer's purchase.

Wal-Mart said the Southeast was its best-performing region, while sales in the Northeast were hurt by snowstorms.

Wal-Mart closed Friday at $51.49.