Wal-Mart, Home Depot Hit Potholes

In an uncertain economic environment, the retail titans are struggling to find profit growth

Pricey makeovers, combined with the pinch of rising economic pressures, are putting a dent in the financial results for the nation's two largest big-box retailers, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Home Depot (HD). Wal-Mart, saying it was "disappointed" at logging its first quarterly decline in profits in 10 years in its second-quarter report on Aug. 15, saw its stock drop 1.22%, to below $45. At Home Depot, executives posted sluggish second-quarter results and warned that they're in for only modest gains for the rest of the year. Wall Street shrugged off the gloomy outlook to hike the Atlanta outfit's stock 3.55%, to above $34.

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