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Kroger's Ocado deal; Walmart earnings; Italian jitters

Kroger's Ocado deal; Walmart earnings; Italian jitters

1. Kroger bets on automation: Kroger has agreed an exclusive deal with UK online supermarket to use its automated warehouse technology in the United States. Kroger (KR) will also take a stake of 5% in Ocado (OCDGF) with an investment worth about £183 million ($247 million) as part of the deal. Ocado said it considered Kroger the best positioned supermarket to succeed in the US online grocery market. The British company has struck similar deals with supermarket chains in France, Canada and Sweden in recent months. Shares in Ocado shot up 44% in London after the announcement, to a new record high. 2. Retail earnings: Walmart (WMT), the world's biggest retailer, will publish first quarter results