Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ’s sales increased 3 percent in July, though a bit short of Wall Street expectations, as shoppers pressured by high gasoline and food prices and a weak job market continued to frequent the Bentonville-based retail giant’s stores and other low-price outlets, the company reported Thursday.
Still, Wal-Mart’s stock took a beating, falling 6. 25 percent on the New York Stock Exchange, after Wal-Mart executives forecast smaller sales gains in August, a busy back-to-school shopping month.
Wal-Mart’s biggest rival, Minneapolis-based Target Corp., said same-store sales fell 1. 2 percent from a year ago.