I generally pass the procession of quarterly reports, leaving them to the business press. But I happen to note Walmart’s report today on quarterly earnings — up company-wide for the period ending Jan. 28 (covering Christmas) against the fourth quarter a year ago, but down 1.8 per cent for the quarter in same-store U.S. sales and down even more at Sam’s Club.

If Walmart goes like the country goes, you have to wonder about the economic recovery. There are, however, those who say Walmart is struggling because of competition and aligning its store inventories more with what its core customers want.


BY CONTRAST: Things were looking much better at Dillard’s.