I was at a dinner party recently and was seated next to a plastic surgeon. During our conversation, he said this is the first time he has seen a downswing in his business and attributed it to the impact of inflation and reduced spending power. Walmart Inc. (WMT) suddenly succeeding in attracting more affluent customers to its stores and ecommerce site are probably also a reflection of changing priorities as credit conditions tighten, advises Eoin Treacy, editor of Fuller Treacy Money.

Consumers may not wish to go to Walmart stores but that does not stop them from availing of better prices online. Amazon.com Inc.’s (AMZN) focus on advertising revenue over price competition leaves a substantial opening for price-focused companies like Wal-Mart.

Walmart Inc. (WMT)
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WMT shares gapped higher on the earnings announcement and the uptrend remains quite consistent. Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) also moved to a new all-time high to reassert the medium-term uptrend. Target Corp. (TGT) is currently steadying from the region of its trend means.

In Europe, low-cost, privately held retailers like Aldi and Lidl ensure price competition is always part of the investment argument. Tesco broke out to new recovery highs last week and continues to hold the move above 300p.

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Marks & Spencer has a dedicated client base. The shares are bouncing from the region of the 200-day MA and they have held a sequence of higher reaction lows since late 2022. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) continues to rebound and bounced this week from the region of the 200-day MA to confirm a break of the downtrend.

A point to bear in mind is if retailers are beginning to compete on price, that should act as a disinflationary force on the economy. That could help support the argument rates should be lower and help depress bond yields.  

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