Ticker WMT

Today's data summary

Market closed
% change
Price US dollars
As of 04:57 19 Jan 2019
Market cap. US dollars
286,225.23 million
As of 04:57 19 Jan 2019

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Retail giants face action over lead in toys

Walmart shopping trolley
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New York state authorities have announced a lawsuit against retail giants Walmart and Target for selling Chinese-made toys that had up to 10 times the legal limit of lead, according to the AFP news agency.

The lawsuit seeks up to $6,000 in penalties for each of the thousands of Cra-Z-Jewelz jewellery kits the retailers and importer LaRose Industries sold from 2015 to 2016 before they were recalled.

"No parent should have to worry that their child's toy may be toxic. As we allege, these companies imported and sold toys with dangerous levels of toxic lead," New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood said in a statement.

The retailers said they removed the toys from store shelves as soon as they were notified of the safety issues.

"We take our customers' safety seriously and require our suppliers to meet all safety standards," Walmart said in a statement to AFP. Target, which pulled the product voluntarily, told AFP in a statement: "We're committed to providing high quality and safe products to our guests and we require all of our vendors to follow safety laws... for the products they sell at Target."

LaRose has already adopted a number of measures to ensure imported toys do not contain dangerous amounts of lead.

BreakingAsda same store revenues grow

Asda sign
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Like-for-like sales at Asda rose by 2% during the third quarter, according to its American owner Walmart.

Asda, which is in merger talks with Sainsbury's, saw total sales rise by 3.7%.

However, it said its gross profit rate fell after it cut prices in its stores.

Walmart sales rise beats forecasts

Walmart trolley
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Asda-owner Walmart has just announced a 3.6% rise in like-for-like sales for the third quarter compared to forecasts for a 2.9% increase.

Total sales grew by 1.4% to $124.9bn.

Operating profit rose 4.7% to $5bn.

Walmart helps lift Wall Street

Wall Street continues to bounce back from last week's sell-off. The three main indexes are up more than 1% as upbeat earnings from blue-chips such as Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs ease jitters over the impact of rising interest rates and tariffs on corporate profits.

All the 11 major S&P sectors were higher. Technology stocks, which led the market sell-off last week, and health stocks jumped more than 2%.

Retail giant Walmart gained 2.1% after saying it expects US online sales to jump about 40% this financial year and that profitability in the business was in "good shape".

The stock had fallen earlier after the retailer cut its profit forecast.

Walmart cuts earnings forecast

Walmart store
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US retail giant Walmart has cut its annual profit forecast following its purchase of a majority stake in Indian online retailer Flipkart.

The company is now expecting earnings per share of between $2.65 and $2.80, down from its previous forecast of between $2.90 and $3.05 per share.

Walmart also forecast that its growth in e-commerce would be about 35% next year, slower than the 40% growth expected this year.

Mystery note from a Chinese prisoner in a Walmart purse

There's a note inside your new purse, apparently from a prisoner in China.What do you do?
You buy a purse at Walmart. There's a note inside, apparently from a prisoner in China, saying 'I made your nice new bag and I'm incarcerated in terrible conditions and the guards are stealing my food'. What do you do? What does Walmart do? For journalist Rossalyn Warren that letter led to a detective operation that took her halfway around the world in search of answers.
(Image: Red purse, Credit: Getty Images)