American retailers have reported generally modest sales since last week's Thanksgiving holiday, despite a hike in spending at the outset of the holiday period.

Industry leader Wal-Mart Stores Inc said that the seven days ended Friday were disappointing, and that it has dropped its sales forecast for November.

The retail giant, which offered less discounts on merchandise than usual, says it now expects same-store November sales to increase 0.7 per cent, rather than the previously forecast 2-4 per cent.

However, other chains such as JC Penney Co Inc and Sears, Roebuck and Co saw considerably better sales.