Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE/WMT) is the world’s largest retailer. With 1,300 jumbo stores and 300,000 employees, Wal-Mart is often referred to as a leading indicator of lower-end retail growth. If sales at Wal-Mart stores open one year or more are increasing, it is an indication that consumers at the lower end of retail are spending. Similarly, if sales at Wal-Mart stores open one year or more are declining, it is an indication that the lower-end retail consumer is pulling back on spending…an ominous sign for the economy.