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Lowe’s to raise hourly wages by $2 an hour, keep stores open an hour later than rival Home Depot

Lowe’s Companies said Thursday it was raising wages by $2 an hour for all full-time, part-time and seaonal hourly workers for the month of April, throughout the U.S. and Canada. The home improvement retailer also said it will close all stores by 7 p.m., which is an hour later than when rival Home Depot Inc. said on Wednesday that it will close its stores. Lowe’s said it will make masks and gloves available to all employees “who want them,” and has developed an app, which is availabe on employees’ hand-held devices, to implement a new customer limit protocol. The retailer has also installed Plexiglass shields at all points of sale and increased third-party cleaning shifts in the stores. Lowe’s stock, which rose 0.8% in afternoon trading, has shed 32.3% year to date, while Home Depot shares have declined 18.3% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 26.5%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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