updated 5/30/2006 1:37:25 PM ET 2006-05-30T17:37:25

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the world's largest retailer, reported a 2.3 percent gain for the May reporting period at stores open at least a year.

Wal-Mart said higher gas and utility prices continue to affect customers, and paycheck cycles have been more pronounced. The reporting period was from April 29 to May 26.

Bentonville-based Wal-Mart, along with other major retail rivals such as Target Corp., Costco Wholesale Corp. and J.C. Penney Co., plan to release full information about April sales on Thursday.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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