Shares of a number of department and discount stores moved lower in afternoon trading after the world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart (WMT), reportedly said that its sales in February have been "a total disaster." In internal emails obtained by Bloomberg, Wal-Mart executives said sales in February are off to their worst start in years, attributing the weakness to the expiration of payroll tax cuts, the report said. Following the headlines, shares Wal-Mart fell to near their session low, down 3.3% to $68.47. Peers Target (TGT) and Costco (COST) fell sharply as well, with Target down nearly 3% and sliding about 0.6% after being higher in morning trade. A number of dollar stores fell as well, as Family Dollar (FDO) and Dollar General (DG) gave ups their earlier gains and were both nearly flat following the report.
Happy demi-anniversary, stock market rally. Will the honeymoon ever end?