Walmart is getting into aspirational retail — and it says a lot about the American economy. In recent months, Walmart has purchased several trendy, online retailers, including the hip fashion brand ModCloth, outdoor gear retailer Moosejaw, and shoe store ShoeBuy. ModCloth's dresses can cost between $60 and $150, whereas Walmart's dresses are usually priced between $10 and $25.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is one of the oldest and best-known indexes in the world. It has, by its nature as a benchmark for the largest stock market in the world, become an important barometer of global confidence over the years. Chris Kacher, managing director of MoKa Investors, this week published a graph of the Dow’s performance since 1896 that charts how the index’s peaks and troughs have reflected the U.S. economy’s triumphs and tribulations. But more than that, the graph also illustrates how the Dow has become a chronicle of investors’ responses to significant global events. At its simplest, the chart proves once again that over the long term, the stock market always rises because
Perhaps the Bank of Russia knows something the world doesn’t. As the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies prepare to meet for a review of their production cuts this weekend, the central bank of the world’s biggest energy exporter is hunkering down for years of oil near $40 a barrel. While analysts in a Bloomberg survey see the price of benchmark Brent crude -- which trades at a small premium to Russia’s Urals export blend -- rising 16 percent from current levels by the end of the year, oil’s 10 percent decline in March alone amid supply woes is making the market nervous.