NEW YORK — Wal-Mart is keeping its sales expectations low for a second straight month, forecasting growth of 2 to 4 percent for July.

This story first appeared in the July 13, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer said it continues to expect its shoppers to curtail spending based on prices at the gas pump.

“Higher gas prices also continue to impact our customers. Therefore, for the July four-week period, we forecast comparative sales for the U.S. to be up in the 2 to 4 percent range,” the company said in a prerecorded call Monday.

In mid-June, Wal-Mart lowered its sales expectations to 2 to 4 percent, and last week the retailer posted same-store sales growth of 2.2 percent for the month. The lackluster sales were blamed on unseasonably cold and damp weather throughout the country.

Separately, Wal-Mart topped the Fortune Global 500 list for the third year in a row. Petroleum company BP took the number two slot and Exxon Mobil grabbed the number three position.

Wal-Mart was the only retailer to appear within the top 10 companies listed.

The Fortune 500 will appear in the July 26 issue of the magazine.

— Carrie Melago