Wal-Mart cut its fiscal year (starting Feb 1) forecast to $5.10 to $5.45 compared to the $5.54 consensus today as well as lowering a variety of estimates. The company is full of excuses:

  1. Food stamp cuts
  2. Other benefit cuts
  3. Higher taxes
  4. Tighter credit
  5. Poor weather
  6. e-commerce

Some of those factors are real but the economy is the wild card. US same store sales fell 0.4% in the quarter ending January 31.

US stocks like the Markit PMI data today but the economy is still a puzzle. And it’s not just a US problem, Caterpillar just reported that its rolling 3-month measure of retail sales worldwide was down 8%.