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Walmart's double whammy pressures stock

February 15, 2013: 12:31 PM ET

Click chart for more on Walmart stock

A double whammy for Walmart Friday.

First Reuters reported that Walmart's U.K. arm, Absa, said it found horsemeat in the beef bolognese (and three other sauces) it sells.

As if that wasn't enough, a research note warning of a sales slowdown was enough to spook investors.

Shares of Walmart fell 2% in early trading. But the stock tumbled nearly 4% later in the day after Bloomberg reported there were emails from Walmart execs saying February sales were a "total disaster."

"As with any organization, we often see internal communications that are not entirely accurate, that lack the proper context and represent individual opinions," said a Walmart spokesperson, declining to comment further.

The behemoth has had its share of struggles, many of which center around labor issues. Union anyone?

But love it or hate it, Walmart is still wildly successful. The No.1 retailer in the world continues to post year-over-year profit and sales growth. Walmart reports fourth-quarter earnings before the market opens next Thursday.

Still, any little hint of a slowdown or scandal is enough to spark a lot of chatter among StockTwits traders.

Signs of the times: Markets give 10x more credence to leaked $WMT emails than official G-7, G-20 communiques. $$

Sad but true.

the problem is that it was internal and a surprise...they would have phrased this much different, had more time to stabilize sales, etc $WMT

if u don't pay attention to a behemoth like $WMT as a competitor then ur setting urself up 4surprise mr $WFM ceo

Very good point. Just the sheer size of Walmart makes it one to watch. It may not quite be "as Walmart goes, so goes retail" but it's a pretty good indicator of whether or not people are shopping.

Horse meat in the "Beef Bolognese"?? Come on now #WalMart $WMT, time to re-think that recipe and hire a real Italian cook!

Haha. Leave it to traderstewie to make me lol. I can't say I've ever bought beef bolognese, or any sauce for that matter, from Walmart... although this was in Absa so maybe the Brits do it differently.

Cleveland Research out negative on $WMT Poor recent sales trends. Says Walmart may lower prices, which would hurt gross margin

Thanks firstadopter. Way to bring it back to the basics. Walmart may have gotten a bit too bloated for investors. The stock has barely budged over the past three months.

Meteors, billionaire wars, and horse DNA - Premarket Stock Talk - $HLF $WMT $ES_F $AAPL $$

I'm with you Spus. It doesn't get much better than that.

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Catherine Tymkiw
Catherine Tymkiw
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Catherine Tymkiw is a news editor at CNNMoney where she helps oversee breaking news coverage and futures planning. Previously, she was the investing editor. Prior to joining CNNMoney, she was the online editor at Crain's New York Business and has nearly two decades of reporting and editing experience. She tweets @ctymkiwcnn

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