Stocks extended modest gains by midday Thursday as the energy sector pulled higher. Gains came despite another day of crude oil losses. Oil prices were on track for their fifth straight session in the red after OPEC stood its ground on muscling out competitors. Walmart (WMT) has begun testing its own mobile payment system, Walmart Pay. The smartphone-based system, which competes with Apple (AAPL) Pay, will work with all credit and debit cards. The first phase is being rolled out at stores in Arkansas. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett disclosed an 8.02% stake in real estate investment trust Seritage Growth Properties (SRG). The REIT was created by struggling retailer Sears (SHLD).
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