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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. cut its annual profit outlook on Thursday amid sluggish sales, higher-than-expected health care costs and the need to invest more in its e-commerce operations. The world’s largest retailer eked out a 0.6 percent increase in second-quarter profit, dragged down by a weak U.S. business. A key revenue measure was flat in its U.S. discount stores, though it reversed five straight quarters of declines. Meanwhile, the number of customers has now fallen seven quarters in a row.



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