From Between the Hedges:
- Wal-Mart Stores(NYSE:WMT) said March same-store sales in the US rose about 1.3% as customers curtailed spending because of higher fuel costs and a later Easter.
- President Bush renewed his push for making his first-term tax cuts permanent and said Democrats who oppose the move would weaken the US economy.
- Alcatel SA(ALA) agreed to merge with Lucent Technologies(LU), creating a company with a combined market value of $36 billion to compete with Ericsson AB(ERICY) and Cisco Systems(NASDAQ:CSCO).
- The Bank of Japan may keep interest rates low “for a long time