Wal-Mart has cut back its financial forecasts for its third quarter following weaker than expected August sales.

Its like-for-like store sales for units open at least a year went up only 0.5%, which is its smallest monthly gain since December 2000.

By contrast, Target reported better than expected sales, with a 1.8% same store increase. Other US supermarket retailers reported declining sales, which they have blamed on high oil prices.

Wal-Mart said profits for its third quarter ending in October would reach the low end of its forecast at 52 or 54 cents per share.