BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here said earnings were flat and sales were down for the first quarter, with a slowdown in food inflation having a modest impact on U.S. grocery sales. “While we believe our grocery business continues to outperform leading competitors and is benefiting from increased distribution of government assistance programs, grocery comp sales are being modestly impacted by a slowdown in inflation,” Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman, said during a pre-recorded ...

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