Investors are digging through the latest figures on personal income and spending this morning. The Commerce Department said consumer spending fell 0.1% in April, the first decline since April of last year. Economists were expecting consumer spending to increase 0.2%. This comes after a spending spree in March, when consumer spending rose a revised 1.0%, the largest gain since August 2009. Meanwhile, personal income rose 0.3% in April.
France's largest bank BNP Paribas could reportedly face more than $10 billion in fines from the U.S. Justice Department to resolve a criminal probe into allegations it evaded U.S. sanctions against Iran and other countries. The settlement could be one of the largest criminal penalties ever imposed on a bank.
Retail chain Express (EXPR) warned of a loss in the current quarter due to high spring inventory and slow traffic. The company also cut its outlook for the full-year after sales in the first quarter fell nearly 10%. It plans to close 50 stores over the next three years.
It appears as if the Los Angeles Clippers have been sold. Shelly Sterling's attorney released a statement saying she sold the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Shelly Sterling is the wife of Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA for making racist statements that were recorded and made public. If the bid is approved, it would be the largest amount paid for a basketball team and the second-largest for a sports team. Ballmer was part of group that unsuccessfully bid for the Sacramento Kings basketball team last year. His bid for the Clippers reportedly beat an offer by a group led by Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen, and Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison.
Should sex and drugs be considered part of a country’s gross domestic product? The U.K.'s Office of National Statistics said on Thursday they will include prostitution and drug sales in the country’s official GDP. The office said paying for drugs and sex adds about $16.7 billion a year to its economy. Italy has said it will include sex and drugs in its GDP as well.
That brings us today's poll. Should illegal activities like prostitution and drug sales be included in GDP? Vote in our poll, or leave a comment below or on Twitter.