Wal-Mart October U.S. same-store sales up 0.4 pct

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NEW YORK, Nov 8 (Reuters) Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Thursday reported a lower-than-expected rise in October sales at its U.S. stores open at least a year, and the world's largest retailer forecast tepid sales gains for November.

Wal-Mart said U.S. October same-store sales rose 0.4 percent, excluding gasoline sales.

Analysts, on average, were expecting same-store sales to rise 1.1 percent, according to Reuters Estimates.

Wal-Mart forecast November U.S. same-store sales would be flat to up 2 percent. Last year, November U.S. same-store sales fell 0.5 percent.

Wal-Mart is working to revive sales at its namesake stores, and it began cutting prices on toys at the end of September in an early push to lure shoppers into its stores for the holidays.

In October, it said, grocery sales continued to outpace sales of general merchandise at its Wal-Mart Stores, while the toy recalls of recent months weighed on toy sales. Sales of apparel and home goods were also soft.

October sales at its Wal-Mart stores open at least a year were flat, while same-store sales were up 2.7 percent at its Sam's Club warehouse divisions.

Wal-Mart said net sales in the four weeks ended Nov. 2 rose 8.4 percent to .92 billion.

REUTERS BJR RAI1904

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