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US futures dip on European data, Fed minutes

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 21, 2013 at 8:08 am •  Published: February 21, 2013

Minutes released Wednesday from a Federal Reserve meeting late last month showed new divisions over its low-interest rate policies that are intended to revive the economy. There is no sign of inflation, yet there was more evidence that some Federal Reserve officials are ready to ease stimulus programs before the economy has fully recovered.

The fragile state of the recovery has left retailers cautions, particularly those whose core customer base consists of those people that are seeing new payroll taxes cut into their take-home pay.

Wal-Mart topped profit expectations for the fourth quarter Thursday, but it warned of a slow start to the year.

The company said that after a strong start to the holiday season, the first three weeks of December were weak, and business has been volatile since then.

The company attributed some of what it is seeing to a delay in tax refund checks that have left people strapped for cash.