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Does a better-than-expected report on retail sales (I, II) add another layer of complexity to...

Does a better-than-expected report on retail sales (I, II) add another layer of complexity to Wal-Mart's (WMT +0.6%) claims on the impact of delayed tax refund processing? Though CFO Bill Simon made a compelling case at a BofA retail conference yesterday that U.S. consumers have changed their spending habits as they wait for refund checks, the trend doesn't quite register with reports from other retailers. The answer may be in just how many sales are fired up by consumers who cash their refunds at WMT stores and spend on the spot.
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