Wall Street Brief: Wal-Mart Earnings are In, Facebook’s D-Day

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) reported a better-than-expected first quarter profit as its U.S. division produced a 2.6 percent sales rise in stores open at least a year reported Reuters. Warm weather and an early Easter also spurred spending by shoppers. The company earned $1.09 per share from continuing operations; this compares to a $0.98 cent profit from the previous year and exceeded Wal-Mart’s estimate of $1.01 to $1.06 per share.

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In addition, Walmart’s U.S. same-store sales have now increased for three consecutive quarters.

After JPMorgan’s (NYSE:JPM) massive trading loss, which has now increased to $3 billion per The New York Times, the White House has increased its talks with Treasury to confirm a solid interpretation of the Volcker Rule. The problem is, if JPM violated the spirit of it, it still may have discovered a legal way to skirt around its details.

Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD) saw a profit in its fiscal first quarter thanks to an increase from getting rid of real estate assets. The company also plans to sell a large amount of its Sears Canada Inc. (SCC.T, SEARF) business. Sears’ sales and earnings were were better-than-expected as the company has been trying to add customers with more attractive stores and a loyalty program called, Shop Your Way Rewards.

It’s almost D-Day for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) after filing to go public four months ago. The company is set to price its offering this evening and begin trading on Friday. The company was initially initially resistance to becoming a public company but the  investor response has been “nothing short of pandemonium,” reported CNN.

The Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RY) and Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) are suitors for Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) non-U.S. wealth-management business, according to Reuters. The two have made initial offers for the unit, which could bring in around $2 billion. It is being sold because the Bank of America supposedly think its too small to bring in solid profits.

Silicon Valley’s latest startup, Pinterest, has raised $100 million with a $1.5 billion valuation, according to The Wall Street Journal. This is an increase from the $200 million previously funded at the end of last year. The online scrapbooking company has 20 million users, an increase from its 1 million in July, but it has been vague on plans to increase its revenue.  

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