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Old November 18th, 2013, 10:43 AM   #48
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Walmart warns Obamacare costs could hurt sales

By Shelly Banjo | The Wall Street Journal November 18, 2013

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/wal-ma...200300759.html

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) has a long list of reasons why its customers aren't spending as much as hoped: the expiration of the payroll tax cut in January, the November rollback of food-stamp benefits and continued uncertainty in Washington.

Now, the world's largest retailer is hinting at a new one: the looming individual mandate to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

The company attributed a third consecutive drop in U.S. comparable-store sales to a laundry list of macroeconomic headwinds when it reported earnings last week. Wal-Mart, which forecast continued gloominess through year-end, told analysts it would watch to see if the federal health-care law would take yet another chunk out of customers' pocketbooks.
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