Wal-Mart’s Mobile Payment System, Starbucks Ready for Europe, GM’s Volt Halt

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT): Wal-Mart Stores, Target (NYSE:TGT) and about 20 other retailers are working together to develop a mobile payments system to compete with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and major cellphone companies, sources say, reports the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart Stores has approved an annual dividend of $1.59 per share, approximately a 9% increase from the $1.46 per share paid during fiscal year 2012. For the current fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2013, the annual dividend of $1.59 per share will be paid in four quarterly installments of 39.75c per share, according to the following record and payable dates.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX): Starbucks plans to beef up its Europe presence and take market share from Nestle (NSRGY) in the area of instant coffee, says CEO Howard Schultz, according to Financial Times Deutschland, reports Reuters. Also, Starbucks will begin selling its Seattle’s Best coffee brand at Kmart (NASDAQ:SHLD) stores, Chevron (NYSE:CVX) gas stations, and some Taco Bell (NYSE:YUM) locations, reported Bloomberg, citing an interview with Chris Bruzzo, the brand’s chief marketing officer.

General Motors (NYSE:GM): General Motors is temporarily halting production of its Volt vehicle for five weeks, reports the Wall Street Journal. According to a company spokesman, the halt is due to poor sales and the 1,300 workers at a Michigan factory will be out of work during that time.

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