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Neiman Marcus Group
Sales put Sears in better position

Ending a six-month slump, Sears, Roebuck and Co. bounced back in October to handily beat Wall Street's estimates and boost its stock price by 5 percent. While Sears pleasantly surprised analysts Thursday, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fell short of expectations as higher energy prices and sluggish job and wage growth made budget-conscious consumers wary about spending. Sears' sales increased 1.9 percent for the month, easily beating projections of a 0.4 percent decline, according to a survey of 10 analysts by research firm Retail Metrics. The Hoffman Estates-based retailer showed better results with such big-ticket goods as appliances and electronics. "October sales met our...