U.S. Markets closed

Drugstores report weak gains

Walgreen (WAG), the No. 1 drugstore chain, said June total sales rose 2.5% from a year ago, led by the continued return of pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts (ESRX) prescriptions to its pharmacies after the 2 companies settled a pricing dispute last fall. Pharmacy sales rose 2.9%. Comparable store pharmacy sales grew 3.3%. Walgreen closed down 0.8% Wed., in holiday-shortened trade. No. 3 Rite Aid (RAD) said total sales were nearly flat at $1.93 bil. Same-store sales rose 0.9%. Shares rose 0.7%.