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    Wal-Mart Same Store Sales Up, But Miss Forecast

    The world's largest retailer reported same-store sales in September rose 2.4 percent, slightly lower than analyst expectations of 2.5 percent.

    Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said September same store sales rose in line with its forecast as consumers shopped for bargains on necessities.

    Including fuel, same-store sales rose 2.8 percent Wal-Mart reported. Total company sales for the five weeks ended Oct. 3, rose 5.8 percent to $36.23 billion from $34.23 billion a year ago. Wal-Mart said it expects U.S. comparable-store sales for October to rise 1 to 2 percent.

    The retailer's September performance was boosted by sales of food and medicine, which helped offset store closures due to hurricanes that hit the United States in the month. Temporary store closures by hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike reduced same-store sales 0.4 points. Same-store sales for the five weeks ending Oct. 3 rose 2 percent at Wal-Mart's discount stores while sales rose 4.6 percent at its Sam's Club warehouse division.

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