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Wal-Mart scaling back

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Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) shares are up nearly 4% today on news that the chain is scaling back its yearly square footage growth and playing a large share buyback program. From the Wall Street Journal:

The world's largest retailer had been under pressure on Wall Street to slow its U.S. store expansion and use the savings to prop up its flagging stock price. The move will cut capital expenditures this year by $1.5 billion, to $15.5 billion, leaving the total about flat with last year. Thomas Schoewe, Wal-Mart's chief financial officer, told investors at its annual meeting here that the company would repurchase up to $15 billion in shares through an undefined period. It will fund the buybacks with new borrowings with savings from the fewer store openings.

Wal-Mart Scales Back Expansion,Approves $15 Billion Stock Buyback [Wall Street Journal]