Wal-Mart, Kmart, Penney Post Solid Weekly Sales

Sales are generally in line with targets at the three big retailers.
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Weekly sales reports at three of the nation's top retailers continue to indicate that monthly sales are generally on track to meet company estimates.

The nation's largest retailer, Bentonville, Ark.-based

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

, said same-store sales, which track sales at stores open at least one year, were slightly below plan for the week. But figures for the month to date indicate the company is on track to meet its expectations of mid-single-digit percentage sales gains at both its Wal-Mart stores and its

Sam's Club

division. Wal-Mart shares were recently trading at $53.25, up $2.44. (The bulk of retail stocks were up Monday following a flurry of

upgrades in the retail sector by

Goldman Sachs

. Wal-Mart's rating did not change.)

At discount retailer

Kmart

(KM)

, based in Troy, Mich., same-store sales for the week were within plans for a 1% to 3% gain. Kmart was up 19 cents at $8.06.

Meanwhile,

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

said weekly department store sales were above plan, with flat comparable-store sales. Here, sales were driven by rising promotions, as the company sought to rid its shelves of leftover holiday merchandise. At the Plano, Texas-based company's drug store division, sales were on track to meet an expected high single-digit gain. Catalog sales lagged plans for a mid-single-digit decline. The company's shares were up 56 cents at $12.19.

These three companies are the only large-scale retailers to release up-to-date sales weekly. Most retailers report monthly same-store sales figures on the first Thursday of each month. January's figures will be closely watched by analysts and investors, coming as they do in the wake of a disappointing holiday sales season.