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Wal-Mart's rich customers, Mutual-fund managers' poor clients
Good day for lowering standards, bad day for sugarcoating bad news
 

Good day for: Lowering standards, as sales in Wal-Mart stores rose by 5 percent in April while the recession battered rival retailers. One reason for Wal-Mart's good fortune: Affluent shoppers who used to avoid the giant discounter are now coming in looking for bargains. More than a quarter of Wal-Mart's sales increase came from new shoppers, most of whom had household incomes of at least $50,000. Wal-Mart's wealthier customers spend 40 percent more per visit, on average, than the typical shopper. (BusinessWeek)

Bad day for: Sugarcoating bad news, as Bob Rodriquez of FPA Capital Fund told fellow mutual-fund managers that they did a terrible job in 2008, when the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped by 38 percent but most actively-managed stock funds did even worse. "In a word, we stunk," said Rodriguez, one of the industry's best-known managers, at the Morningstar Investment Conference last week. "We managers did not deliver the goods and we must explain why." (MarketWatch)

 

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