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Wal-Mart Sales On Plan for Last Week

The megaretailer hints at a rare note of optimism for the sector.


(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

said on its regular recorded message Monday that same-store sales at both its main discount chain and its

Sam's Club

warehouse stores were on plan last week.

Wal-Mart shares well off highs

It was the second week of on-plan sales -- defined by the company as growth of between 4% and 6% -- for the world's largest retailer, following growth of 4.8% during September. Customer counts at both divisions rose, while the average sales ticket and merchandise mix also remained good, the company said on the message. Same-store sales measure sales at outlets open at least a year.

Wal-Mart reported strong sales of seasonal items like apparel as well as big-ticket goods like appliances and furniture. "All of these factors seem to signal that the consumer does have liquidity," the company said. That's a niblet of optimism for the retail sector, which last week saw such favorites as

Home Depot

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warn that third-quarter earnings won't meet expectations. Meanwhile,

anxiety about the holiday season continues to plague retail stocks, as

reported earlier Monday.

Wal-Mart shares rose $2.19, or 4.9%, to $47.19 in early trading.