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Wal-Mart disappoints and Cisco cuts — five things to know today

A Wal-Mart customer at a store in Rogers, Arkansas.A Wal-Mart customer at a store in Rogers, Arkansas.
A Wal-Mart customer at a store in Rogers, Arkansas.Bloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hello, friends and Fortune readers.

Today, investors are worried about the strength of the Eurozone’s nascent recovery and disappointing earnings news from Wal-Mart, which is sometimes seen as a proxy for the U.S. economy. Here’s what you need to know about in business news today.

1. Wal-Mart cuts profit outlook

The number-one company in the Fortune 500 barely increased earnings, reporting a 0.6% profit bump from a year ago. This matched analysts’ expectations. Wal-Mart also cut its earnings guidance for the year and posted yet another decline in traffic. The world’s largest retailer blamed the downbeat results on the cost of investments in its online business and rising U.S. healthcare costs.

2. Strength of the jobs recovery

With recent data showing job openings at a 13-year high, investors were watching for today’s weekly snapshot of jobless claims. The government reported requests for unemployment aid rose 21,000 to 311,000 in the week ending Aug. 9, snapping what had been a promising downward trend.

3. Cisco is cutting jobs

Despite posting earnings that beat analysts estimates, Cisco (CSCO) announced Wednesday it is slashing 6,000 jobs, which represents around 8% of its global workforce. Shares of the computing company are down following the news.

4. Bad news in Europe

Both bond yields and stocks fell in the Eurozone following a report of economic shrinkage in Germany, reports Reuters. The French economy also failed to grow, adding to the continent’s woes. Also of concern: Data showing growth in the Euro area in the three months through June was unchanged from the first quarter.

5. Hello Kitty says hello to the infinite void

That’s right, everyone’s favorite feline is going into orbit. No word on if Chococat or Keroppi will be joining her.