Wal-Mart Lays Groundwork for Future as Markets Soar on News of Debt Ceiling Deal

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

As of 1:05 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is up 179 points, or 1.18%, to wipe out yesterday's 133-point decline. This big jump higher came shortly after the opening bell rang as senators indicated a plan was formed to get a debt ceiling compromise passed as soon as possible. But there is still a lot that needs to be done, and the deal must be voted on by both the Senate and House of Representatives. Regardless of the number of times investors have been told a deal was just around the corner, the markets are once again rallying across the board: The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ are higher by 1.16% and 1.08%, respectively.

One big Dow mover today is Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) , up 1.1% after yesterday's analyst meeting in Arkansas. The company had a lot of big news to report, including the expansion of its grocery delivery service through a test offering in Denver. The service was previously only offered in the California cities of San Jose and San Francisco. The decision to expand the service comes as, eBay, and even Google are offering same-day delivery for different types of merchandise. This is clearly a way for Wal-Mart to fight the big tech companies at their own game. 

Furthermore, Wal-Mart reported that it expects overall sales to increase 1.9% to 3% in fiscal 2014, which is starting now for the company. That would put total revenue at $475 billion to $480 billion, higher than last year's $466 billion. Additionally, the company believes fiscal 2015 will produce 3% to 5% growth as it adjusts its sales strategies to meet those goals. The company also believes its square footage growth will be slightly smaller in the coming budget year than it had previously said. The company now plans to open 34 million square feet of store space during fiscal 2014 and 33 million square feet in 2015. Those figures are down from a range of 36 million to 40 million square feet in 2014 and 33 million to 37 million square feet in 2015.  

This is good news for Wal-Mart investors, but remember that it's just what the company plans to do -- not what it has done. These projections should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, the economy could tumble back into another recession, and the 3% expected revenue growth may fall apart as the company tries to make it through the rough patch. If you need Wal-Mart to grow revenue at 3% to make it a worthwhile investment, you should probably pass on the company and continue looking elsewhere.

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9/23/2016 4:55 PM
^DJI $18261.45 Down -131.01 -0.71%
WMT $72.35 Up +0.08 +0.11%
Wal-Mart Stores CAPS Rating: ***