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US shares open higher; Walmart sheds 4%

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NEW YORK, Nov 15 AFP

November 16 2012, 03:37AM

US stocks have zig-zagged around the break-even line in volatile early trade after a sharp fall the previous day, with Walmart's disappointing revenues in its third quarter report pushing its shares lower.

After an hour of Thursday trade, shares were mixed following two sharp direction reverses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 8.76 points (0.07 per cent) to 12,577.79.

The broad-market S&P 500 added 2.02 (0.15 per cent) to 1,357.51, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite lost 2.05 (0.07 per cent) at 2,844.76.

Walmart's shares fell four per cent to $US68.39 on quarterly earnings that showed a nine per cent rise in net income to $US3.63 billion, but revenue at stores climbed only 1.5 per cent, below expectations.

The company also admitted in a document filed to the SEC that in addition to the US investigation into allegations the company bribed Mexican officials, that probes were under way on possible corruption act violations in Brazil, China and India.

Also on the Dow, Bank of America and Caterpillar were both up 1.5 per cent, while Procter and Gamble fell 0.9 per cent.

On the Nasdaq, Apple shares fell 1.1 per cent.

Facebook edged 1.4 per cent lower after surging nearly 13 per cent Wednesday amid a rush of short-covering linked to previous expectations the shares would sink when restrictions on insider share selling were lifted this week.

United Airlines shares were off 1.2 per cent amid reports of widespread flight cancellations due to a computer glitch.

Bond prices were slightly lower.

The 10-year US Treasury yield rose to 1.60 per cent from 1.59 per cent, and the 30-year rose to 2.74 per cent from 2.73 per cent.

Bond prices and yields move inversely.