Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Xmas in July

I bring you gifts and good tidings from the Bo$ton Globe's bu$ine$$ $ection:

Amazon breaks record with Prime Day

"Rivals countered Prime Day with deals of their own. Walmart has cut prices throughout the month on a host of products online. Macy’s online site touted a ‘‘Black Friday in July’’ sale that runs through Sunday. J.C. Penney and Toys ‘R’ Us offered their own sales, too." 

Yes, there are problems but everybody is buying (now please, stock price go up).

I'm getting that oh-so-familiar whiff of.... what the herd leaves behind.

"Staples looks to rebound from failed merger" by Jordyn Holman Bloomberg News  July 13, 2016

Staples Inc., looking to bounce back after a failed megamerger, is bulking up its online selection and shortening delivery times to make the most of the back-to-school shopping season.

While back-to-school is always critical for the office-supply retailer, it’s especially important this year with the added challenge of fending off an incursion into its business by Web behemoth Amazon.com, which hosted its annual Prime Day sale extravaganza Tuesday.

In a little more than a month, children will be returning to school, and parents will be sending them off in new clothes with new backpacks full of freshly purchased supplies, including gadgets. Back-to-school sales this year are expected to rise 3.3 percent to $540 billion, up from $523 billion, according to the research firm Customer Growth Partners. That would be slower than the 4 percent-plus gains the past two years.

Amazon will account for about a quarter of this year’s $17 billion increase in back-to-school sales, the New Canaan, Conn.-based firm said. The company could grab even more share if Amazon Prime Day even partly lives up to expectations.

“Back-to-school shoppers in 2016 will be cautious in spending, but relentless in searching for value,” Customer Growth Partners president Craig Johnson said. “The retail winners will be those that provide real newness, relevant to consumers and how they like to shop today — at a great price.”

The threat from Amazon takes on special significance for Staples because the Federal Trade Commission blocked its planned tie-up with Office Depot partly on the rationale that the two brick-and-mortar retailers faced little significant outside competition. Staples had argued that Amazon also participated in the market and was a growing adversary.

Matyas said Staples has some advantage over Amazon in that it’s still able to draw customers to its physical locations, in addition to its online store.

That is where I stopped taking stock in anything this article is saying

I was told  “the importance of retail has weakened.”

The company also was one of the earlier e-commerce adopters and doesn’t lag behind Amazon’s capabilities like some of other traditional retailers, he said. For instance, Staples’ same-day delivery option this year will be able to get packages to customers’ doors in two hours....


RelatedBack-to-school spending to grow 11 percent

Also related:

Barbie makes a comeback

They gave her a boob job because of the droop


At the beginning of the year I thought there had been a change of climate up at the top, but I can now $ee I wa$ wrong:

Opinion | Christine Lagarde Equality is key to global economic growth managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

RelatedLagarde nominated to second IMF term

The $candal $urrounding her in France has been quelled.

Opinion | Sri Mulyani Indrawati Extreme inequality is a symptom of a broken society managing director and chief operating officer of the World Bank. 

Is it just me, or is that just a bit in$ulting con$idering the in$titution she directs and operates drives and exacerbates inequality? 

It's been their $how for lo 40 years now if not longer.

Opinion | Madeleine K. Albright Reducing inequality is a moral imperative

I'm sure there is a place in hell for such creatures.

It was a dumb idea for me to think I was going to $ee $omething different in the same old $elf-$erving (and divi$ive) and already failed (by design) $tatu$ quo $olutions by the same people who have brought you wealth inequality and war

Of course, the argument goes, were women in charge of the world there would be no wars. Well, four women occupy the highest po$itions of power on this planet, and another may soon reside with them. 

And then we will see real change and the end of war, right?

 But on to the good news and more gifts:

"Consumer confidence improved in January to a three-month high as Americans grew more upbeat about the prospects for the economy, labor market, and their incomes. The Conference Board’s index of sentiment advanced to 98.1 in January from a revised 96.3 a month earlier, the New York-based private research group said Tuesday. The median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for the measure to hold at the previously reported December reading of 96.5. While a plunge in stock prices may have tempered views about current conditions, a resilient labor market, falling gas prices, and low inflation overall are buoying views of the economic outlook."

"Employers added jobs in 36 states last month, led by big gains in California, Texas, and Florida, evidence that hiring remains solid nationwide. Low oil prices caused job losses in energy-rich states. The widespread hiring helped push down unemployment rates in 25 states in December, with the sharpest drops occurring in Missouri and Oregon. The unemployment rate doesn’t always decline even when more hiring occurs, because more Americans may start job hunting and push up the rate even as others are hired. Unemployment rates rose in 14 states and were unchanged in 11." 

I'm tired of the di$$embling and mixed me$$ages, sorry.


Time to merge a few more pieces together before moving on....

"DuPont Co.is cutting research and development spending as chief executive Ed Breen seeks $1 billion of cost savings before the completion of its historic merger with Dow Chemical Co. The R&D cuts follow the thousands of job losses announced in December."

Time to get cleaned up:

"Procter & Gamble tops profit estimates after boosting prices" by Lauren Coleman-Lochner Bloomberg News  January 27, 2016

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble Co., coping with the effects of a stronger US dollar, posted earnings that beat analysts’ estimates after it boosted product prices and cut overhead costs.

Profit amounted to $1.04 a share in the second quarter. Premium-priced items such as Tide Pods are bolstering sales — especially in the United States, which accounts for about one-third of P&G’s business. That helped the company return to organic sales growth last quarter, a sign it can bounce back once the currency difficulties ease. Still, the volume of products P&G sells is falling in most categories.

‘‘The US definitely was the bright spot of the quarter,’’ said Nik Modi, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. ‘‘I think they’re headed in the right direction.’’

The company, run by new chief executive David Taylor, has been focused on improving margins and squeezing expenses to adjust to the dollar’s gain. Currency fluctuations eroded the value of its overseas revenue, turning what would have been a 2 percent sales increase into a 9 percent decline last quarter. Total revenue came in at $16.9 billion, matching analysts’ estimates. P&G remains the world’s largest consumer-products company, with brands ranging from Bounty to Gillette.

P&G shares rose 2.6 percent to $78.81 at the close in New York, the biggest increase since Dec. 4. The stock had slumped 13 percent last year, dragged down by concerns about the dollar and the company’s struggles to rekindle growth.

In the United States, P&G held or increased market share in categories representing about 60 percent of the business during the quarter, chief financial officer Jon Moeller said. Moeller attributed the decrease in volume to the company paring back its product portfolios and raising prices.

The effect of the dollar, meanwhile, will reduce this year’s earnings. The currency trend also is hurting rival Kimberly-Clark Corp., which reported disappointing results and a lukewarm forecast on Monday.

P&G’s Taylor took the reins in November from A.G. Lafley, who served two terms as CEO. Lafley cut costs and divested businesses worth billions of dollars in sales, including its pet-food and battery units.

Taylor is creating a culture of accountability and transparency, Modi said. Still, the CEO wasn’t on Tuesday’s call with analysts.

‘‘I think the more people that get exposed to him the better off P&G will be,’’ Modi said.

The challenge now will be introducing more products that consumers are willing to spend more for, he said. ‘‘Procter 15 years ago had a significant superiority advantage — their products just were better, so they were able to price at a premium,’’ Modi said. ‘‘Today the competition has caught up.’’



Profits elusive, Carbonite turns to commercial clients
Coach designs help drive profit
Facebook revenue soars
Under Armour has a winning quarter
Jobless claims drop
US stocks soar

Cue the mu$ic!


"Citing changes in the music industry, the head of home-audio maker Sonos announced on Thursday that the company is in the process of laying off an undisclosed number of employees as it shifts its focus toward voice control technology. John MacFarlane, Sono’s co-founder and chief executive, wrote in a blog post that the layoffs are a “short term – and very difficult – consequence” of the company’s decision to move in a different direction. It will be “doubling down” on music streaming, while “committing significant resources” toward voice controlled technology akin to Amazon Echo, “the first product to really showcase the power of voice control in the home,” he wrote. The announcement comes a month after the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company announced it moved its Cambridge office to a new 120,000-square-foot spot in Boston. The 14-year-old company employs about 400 people in Boston, about the same number as its Santa Barbara office."

They want to hear every little sound you make.

"SFX Entertainment, the company created four years ago to capitalize on the popularity of dance music festivals, declared bankruptcy Monday, after a troubled year in which the company’s founder abandoned a takeover bid and its stock plunged by more than 95 percent. The bankruptcy reorganization will take the company private, eliminate more than $300 million in debt from its balance sheet, and install a new chief executive to replace Robert F.X. Sillerman, who founded SFX in 2012 with a dream of creating a media empire around dance music. As part of the deal, a group of the company’s bondholders will convert their debt into equity and provide $115 million in financing. According to an announcement, the company’s many festivals around the world, including Electric Zoo, Tomorrowland, Mysteryland, and Stereosonic, will go on as planned, and other businesses, like its digital music store Beatport, will remain operational. "

Not something to build on, but a one-hit wonder can bring in some dough.

"Home Depot is on a hiring spree. The nation’s largest home improvement chain, based in Atlanta, said Wednesday it is hiring more than 80,000 workers nationwide for its busy spring season, the same level as in recent years. The retailer estimates that more than half of the temporary workers stay on for permanent employment. The part-time and full-time jobs include sales, operations, and cashier positions across all departments in stores as well as jobs at its distribution centers. The hiring comes as Home Depot has been benefiting from shoppers’ increasing shift to renovate their homes in a housing market that has been solid."

"Home Depot reported better-than-expected profit and revenue in the fourth quarter and comparable-store sales jumped as the company continues to ride a sustained recovery in the housing market."


Lowe’s earnings trail rival Home Depot’s

"Lowe’s Cos. posted first-quarter profit that topped analysts’ projections, reinforcing the notion that Americans are still willing to spend on their homes. Last week, retailers such as Macy’s Inc. posted disappointing results, raising concerns that US consumers are pulling back on spending. The home-improvement industry has been largely immune from the malaise, with rising property values encouraging people to spend on their dwellings."  

I don't want to get all melancholy, but....

Cold weather slows housing construction
Builders feeling less optimistic about sales
January single-family home sales surge, prices don’t
Pending sales of existing homes fall by most in two years
Purchases of new homes fell in March for third month

It was an "unexpected" drop and the "revisions" say they declined more than we were told because of the $queeze.

"Even as a tight inventory is creating a frenzied market, with open houses crammed with potential buyers and sellers picking from dozens of offers, lenders and buyers are likely being careful not to spend more than they can afford, said Timothy Warren, chief executive of the Warren Group, a Boston real-estate tracking firm, which released the data on Tuesday. “I think there’s pent-up demand for housing, but people aren’t willing to spend beyond their personal income,” he said. Nationally, the shrinking supply and higher prices are taking a toll on existing home sales."

Looks like you will have to cancel that vacation like I did.

"Losses worsened at Lumber Liquidators during the first three months of its fiscal year and sales declined for a fifth straight quarter as the flooring company spent heavily to put behind it damaging reports of potentially dangerous and illegal products from China. The company will contribute $26 million and a million of its shares to a settlement fund to resolve a related class action. That follows an announcement last month that the Toano, Va., company would pay $2.5 million to settle allegations that some of its products violated California’s air-safety standards. Last year, it paid $13.2 million in fines and pleaded guilty to environmental crimes for importing China-made flooring that contained timber illegally logged in eastern Russia."

It's not worth going to war over.

Home sales up for third-straight month
Home prices continue to march higher 

I just told you I wasn't up for a war march!


"Avon Products Inc. says it is cutting 2,500 jobs and moving its headquarters from New York to Great Britain. The move comes after the cosmetics giant sold its North American business to private-equity firm Cerberus. Avon had 28,300 employees outside its sold-off North American operations at the end of December. It said Monday it will book a $60 million charge in the current quarter due to the layoffs. The company said it expects to save $50 million this year from payroll cuts and the closure of open positions. Starting in 2017, it expects to save around $65 million to $70 million a year. Avon will keep facilities in Suffern and Rye, N.Y., and remain incorporated in New York. Its stock will still trade on the New York Stock Exchange."

It was a literal deal with the devil, but that was pre-Brexit; now they are staying put and will profit by it over time, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, like a good Steward!

Also seeStocks recover from steep losses

They are on a slippery slope.


"Google parent’s profit tops estimates on booming ad business" by Jack Clark Bloomberg News  February 01, 2016

Google reported profit and sales that topped estimates, lifted by robust sales of online ads and tighter cost controls, putting parent Alphabet Inc. on track to overtake Apple Inc. as the world’s most valuable company.

The results, reported for the first time under a new structure that separates Google’s main search and advertising operations from riskier investments, show that fourth-quarter revenue rose.

Google, which has been investing in artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and health technology, changed its name and structure last year to give investors a clearer view into the performance of its Web business and the money Alphabet chief executive Larry Page is devoting to new projects. The health of Google’s main business and investor confidence in the company’s ability to innovate have helped to more than double the stock price in the past three years.

“It’s a very healthy bottom-line beat,” said Josh Olson, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. “This new transparency is going to help. The core business looks very healthy.’’

The company’s futuristic ambitions span from robotics and Internet-beaming balloons to self-driving cars. “They are not distractions,” said Ivan Feinseth, chief investment officer of Tigress Financial Partners LLC. “They provide Google with insights and opportunities into other things that are complementary to their other businesses and could be future-leading businesses.”

You can at lea$t leave the nest with a wad of ca$h anyway.



"Google Inc. chief executive Sundar Pichai received a $100.5 million pay package in 2015, according to a filing Tuesday from parent company Alphabet Inc. Pichai received $99.8 million in restricted stock that will vest in full by 2017. He also received a $652,500 salary. The stock award hasn’t previously been disclosed in filings.The two grants have brought Pichai’s holding of unvested restricted shares to $635 million as of Monday’s close in New York, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. He also holds unvested stock options valued at $11.6 million. Executive chairman Eric Schmidt received $8.04 million for 2015, including a $1.25 million salary and $6 million cash bonus. Chief financial officer Ruth Porat was awarded $31 million, including $25.1 million in restricted stock. An Alphabet spokesman declined to comment."

At lea$t you know where that ad revenue is going.


"Service industries expanded in January at the slowest pace in nearly two years, raising the risk that persistent weakness in manufacturing is starting to creep into the rest of the US economy. The industries that account for about 90 percent of the economy may be adjusting expectations after consumers tempered spending and businesses cut back on investment in the fourth quarter."

Preparing you for the coming drop and official declaration of being back in recession -- after the election, of course -- despite 99% of us having been mired in what history will record as the Grand Depression.

"US businesses added a solid 205,000 jobs last month, lifted by robust gains in services and construction and extending a streak of steady hiring, according to a private survey. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that financial services, retailers, and professional services firms also hired at a steady pace. The figures suggest that companies focused on the domestic economy remain healthy, despite gyrations in the financial markets and slowing global growth. The data comes just two days before the government’s official jobs report for January. The ADP survey covers only private businesses and frequently diverges from the official figures."

"The biggest rise in US labor costs in eight years is squeezing company profits and heightening fears of a recession. Expenses per worker, so called unit labor costs, increased 2.4 percent last year, the most since 2007, after a 2 percent gain in 2014, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department. The rising wage bill is taking a bite out of companies’ bottom lines and prompting concern among some economists that firms will slash spending and hiring in response."

They made all this money all this time, these damn corporations, while labor got the short end of the stick, and now their damn pre$$ is running cover and apologizing for them. 

"The US economy has just completed the best two years of job growth since the 1990s, wages are on the rise, and consumers are more confident about the economy than they’ve been in more than a decade, according to the latest report from the president’s Council of Economic Advisers."

"As a report showed US job creation stalled in January, stocks fell. Stocks were mostly lower throughout the day, but losses accelerated as the end of trading approached. “It’s a rather difficult report to interpret. It confirms there has been some deceleration in the US economy. We’re not falling off the cliff, but it clearly shows the US economy is not immune to the global slowdown,” said Russ Koesterich, global market strategist with asset manager BlackRock. “You have the possibility of soft growth and monetary tightening, and that’s not a great place to be as an investor,” he said. The jobs report, while less than what economists were looking for, still showed that the US economy is growing, albeit slowly. The report included some positive signs, however."

"Job openings climbed in December to the second-highest level on record, a sign demand for labor remains strong. The number of positions waiting to be filled rose by 261,000 to 5.61 million from a revised 5.35 million in November, the Labor Department reported Tuesday in Washington. The reading was just behind the 5.67 million reached in July that was the highest since data began in 2000. Construction companies and manufacturers were among employers looking to boost staff, and more people had the confidence to quit their jobs."

That's one, two, three strikes your out, and I hope you can understand why I'm quit reading this slop.

"Buoyed by strong digital growth and cost savings, The New York Times Co. reported Thursday an increase in quarterly profit, but said revenue was flat as its print business continued to decline. The Times’ net income for the fourth quarter was $52 million, an increase of 48 percent compared with the same period in 2014. The Times Co. has set an ambitious goal to double its total digital revenue, a number that includes digital advertising and digital-only subscriptions, to $800 million by 2020. The company said it added 53,000 net digital subscribers in the quarter, the most added in a quarter in three years. The Times now has close to 1.1 million paid digital-only subscriptions."

The NYT no longer costs a few pennies, and I wouldn't buy it even if it were.


Tribune combines job of editor and publisher
Al Jazeera TV fires 500 employees in revamp of operations

They have since stopped broadcasting, and that Sunni $hit just as almost as bad as the ma$$ jew$media. I watched it for all of maybe two days before I changed the channel, after I approached it with such hope!



Let's start with the old standby:

"Sears Holdings Corp., the department-store chain run by hedge-fund magnate Eddie Lampert, plunged 8.8 percent after analysts warned that the company is no longer “viable as a retailer in its current form.” A shrinking cash pile and narrower gross margins will require the money-losing company to take on more debt this year, Evercore ISI analyst Greg Melich said in a report, which he co-wrote with Matt McGinley. Even if it gets through 2016, Sears faces a “larger liquidity event” — a cash crunch requiring some action — the following year, Melich said."

"Sears Holdings Corp. will close another 78 stores — 68 Kmarts and 10 Sears stores — as it looks to restore profitability. That accounts for about 5 percent of its store base, which is nearly 1,700 stores. The ailing company, based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., had said in February that it would accelerate the closing of unprofitable stores following a ‘‘challenging’’ holiday season. The move announced Thursday is expected to generate a ‘‘meaningful level’’ of cash from the liquidation of store inventories and from the sale or sublease of some of the related real estate, it said Thursday. All 10 Sears stores and nearly all the Kmart stores will close in late July. Two Kmart stores will close in mid-September."

It was my first stop!

L.L. Bean was my second, but the kid didn't think that was so hot so.... you tell me where to go!

"Yet another retailer has cracked under the weight of teen’s changing shopping habits. Aeropostale on Wednesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, saying in the filing that it was seeking approval to immediately close 154 of its more than 800 stores. Just two weeks ago, its stock was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange because it was trading for just pennies a share."

"Teen clothing chain Aeropostale Inc. is preparing to sell all its assets and may bring claims against the private equity firm it said drove it into bankruptcy. The New York-based company said in court papers July 15 that “reorganization on a standalone basis is not feasible.” Instead, it will look for a “stalking horse” to make the lead bid at an auction next month and will pass the proceeds of any sale to creditors. The retailer also said it’s still reviewing 11,000 pages of documents and depositions of key individuals that senior lender Sycamore Partners produced during a bankruptcy probe and is evaluating whether to pursue claims against the private equity firm and affiliates."

Look, Sports Authority is closed, too.

So what's your next Target?

"Target said Wednesday that it was tripped up by the same conditions in the spring quarter that hurt its department and apparel store counterparts: The consumer, despite a relatively healthy economy, still wasn’t spending big at the big-box retailer. Target reported a 1.2 percent increase in comparable sales, a measure of digital sales and sales at stores open more than a year. While that growth reflected an uptick in foot traffic to its stores, it was also the slowest year-over-year growth it has seen on that key metric in the past six quarters. And it now says it is expecting a gloomy second quarter, with comparable sales that could be down as much as 2 percent."

Here we go again! I've seen this pre$$ act before. Blame the consumer who has been looted blind by the $y$tem that serves corporate interest above all! How in$ulting!

Where to next?

"Those smiley door greeters are back at Walmart. The nation’s largest retailer said in a blog post this week that it’s bringing back door greeters to a majority of its 5,000 stores by mid-summer to improve customer service. For stores that have been selected as higher risks for thefts, Walmart will position a ‘‘customer host,’’ who will not only greet customers but also check receipts to prevent theft. That was flagged as a growing problem last year. Those workers will be trained to help deter potential shoplifters. The rollout follows a successful pilot program. Four years ago, the discounter decided to remove the workers at the front of the store and relocate them to other areas. Greeters were a tradition that its late founder Sam Walton started."

Walmart will soon be a police state!

"Walmart is suing Visa Inc., charging the payment network is not allowing the retail giant to let customers verify chip-enabled debit card transactions with what it believes is a more secure method: personal identification numbers. In a suit filed in New York State courts Tuesday, the Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter says Visa is forcing the retailer to allow customers to use a signature when they use the chip-based debit cards. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says in an e-mail statement to the Associated Press the suit is about ‘‘protecting our customers’ bank accounts’’ when they use their debit cards at the store. It’s also more costly. Walmart pays about 5 cents more to Visa for each signature transaction than it does for the so-called PIN transactions. Visa declined to comment."

I'm glad I have American Express, but I'm getting impatient waiting in line.

Walmart bucks trend, releases upbeat earnings report 

Someone had to (despite the thefts). 

Alibaba predicts 48 percent sales increase

You don't want to try on something better than that cheap Chinese crap?

"Ralph Lauren is closing stores, cutting jobs, and focusing more on its most popular brands to try to reverse its declining fortunes. The changes are the first big moves from CEO Stefan Larsson, who replaced company founder Ralph Lauren in the role late last year. Lauren is still executive chairman and chief creative officer of the fashion and home decor business he created. The New York-based company, known for its polo shirts and pony logo, plans to close more than 50 stores, or about 10 percent of its total retail stores. It will cut about 8 percent, or 1,200, of its 15,000 full-time employee."

Maybe we could try T.J. Max or Penney's:

"J.C. Penney says it will start to sell major appliances online and expand its rollout of the category to nearly 500 stores, or almost half of its stores, this summer. The move comes after a successful test of offering major appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators in 22 markets in February. Penney got out of the major appliance business more than 30 years ago. Penney also said Monday that that it exceeded its own goal for one measure of profit. Penney, based in Plano, Texas, is looking to rebuild sales, particularly in the home area, after a catastrophic reinvention plan under former CEO Ron Johnson resulted in sales and profits in free fall in 2012 and 2013. Business has been stabilized since then. But revenue has still not returned to the pre-Johnson era levels."

Where are all the clothes?

"The vast majority of Americans say they prefer lower prices instead of paying a premium for items labeled ‘‘Made in the USA,’’ even if it means those cheaper items are made abroad, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll. While presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are vowing to bring back millions of American jobs lost to China and other foreign competitors, public sentiment reflects core challenges confronting the US economy. Incomes have barely improved, forcing many households to look for the most convenient bargains instead of goods made in America. Nearly three in four say they would like to buy goods manufactured inside the United States, but those items are often too costly or difficult to find, according to the survey released Thursday. A mere 9 percent say they only buy American."

Yeah, us consumers who don't spend anything are hypocrites, too. 

That's not going to sell me on anything.

"Tailored Brands Inc. plans to shutter about 250 locations, including all its outlet stores, as the owner of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank copes with sluggish sales. The Houston-based company will close 80 to 90 standard Jos. A. Bank stores, as well as 58 outlet stores, according to a statement Wednesday. Between 100 and 110 MW Tux stores also will be shut, part of a shift of tuxedo rentals to its full-line stores and partner Macy’s Inc."


Maybe you should just order something online and pray it is what you ordered when you pick it up (isn't always). 


Time for a break in the Food Court to feed baby:

"For 32 years, the Au Bon Pain in Harvard Square has been an anchor for Cambridge public life, with a big patio that attracts locals, tourists, and students and staff of the university. Now, the restaurant is scheduled to close, according to a sign placed on the door to the store. It is expected to stop serving for good at 2 p.m. Thursday, said Wael Salloum, a store supervisor. The good newsNo lost jobs."

Looks like it's McDonald's then:

"McDonald’s Corp. said Thursday it plans to open 1,500 new restaurants in China, South Korea, and Hong Kong as it looks to faster-growing markets to help drive a global turnaround. McDonald’s said it is looking for partners to help finance that expansion. The company said it also will give local managers more decision-making power to respond to Asian customers."

Also eatMcDonald’s to partner with makers of Pokemon Go

It's a real money-making coup -- or not!

Just doesn't taste right to me.

Can even get a beer if you want: 

Number of US breweries hits record
Yes, that’s a grain silo, in Dorchester
A little alcohol may not be good for you after all
Booze and business don’t always mix well
Life changes, one day at a time 

You are picking up the tab, right?

Bottom's up!


Stocks rally on hopes for more economic stimulus
Fidelity reports 6 percent decline in earnings
Factories produce more goods in January
Number filing for unemployment declines
Unemployment applications rise
Orders for durable goods strongest in 10 months
US businesses add more than 200,000 jobs in February
Orders to US factories jump in January
A modest gain for stocks keeps a 4-day winning streak alive
Unemployment claims fall by 9,000
Spending in March hits eight-year high

I'm no longer an Avid reader of the Bo$ton Globe. $orry.

What to watch for in Friday’s US job report

I know what I'm looking for:

"The great recession of 2008 hit most business sectors in the United States hard, leading to layoffs and downsizing. But according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least one type of enterprise kept adding jobs all the way through, poor economy notwithstanding: nonprofits. Figures from 2007-2012 show that the nonprofit sector played a counter-cyclical role in the last recession, staffing up when the everyone else was cutting back. The increase in the number of jobs wasn’t a reflection of the amount of charitable giving flowing into nonprofits. Federal government funding was extremely important in helping them expand services, especially as state and local governments cut back."

I can understand that.

"US economy adds 242,000 jobs in Feb." by Patricia Cohen New York Times   March 04, 2016

NEW YORK — With anxiety about the economy bubbling up on Wall Street and at campaign rallies around the country, the government highlighted the labor market’s steady gains.

“We’ve got a real strong job market going,” said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust. “It does suggest that fears about a US recession have been greatly overdone.”

Four years ago, at this point in the last presidential election cycle, the jobless rate was 8.3 percent and the economic recovery was in a relatively early stage. Then, worries centered on rising gas prices, deep consumer debt, and government layoffs.

Now, the recovery is in its seventh year, the unemployment rate has dropped sharply and the private sector has chalked up 72 months of uninterrupted job gains, the longest streak on record.

Oil prices may still be causing ulcers, but this time it is primarily producers who are feeling the pain, because prices have plunged.

The shadow on the otherwise positive Labor Department report was that wages fell.

Beth Ann Bovino, chief US economist at Standard & Poor’s, was enthusiastic, despite the setback on wages.

“We’re back in the saddle again,” she said, noting that the heavy snowfall in the Northeast last month did little to curtail hiring in retail sales and food services.

With eyes on the slowdown in China and a herky-jerky stock market, Wall Street has been betting that the Federal Reserve would put off any interest rate increase at its next meeting later this month.

But while economists said the Fed was likely to remain in a holding pattern, the strong jobs report would at least give it plenty to talk about.

A broader measure that includes people too discouraged to search for work or who are making do with a part-time job because they can’t find a full-time one fell 0.2 percent to 9.7 percent.

Perhaps the most encouraging sign was evidence that people who had long been sidelined were being lured back to the job market. The overall share of Americans in the labor force ticked up 0.2 percentage points to 62.9 percent.

Which is at a post-War on Poverty low, and the true unemployment figure is near 38%!


"US hiring jumped to a nine-year high in February, a sign of robust business demand for new workers, while the number of open positions slipped. The Labor Department reported Tuesday that 5.4 million people found jobs, a 5.8 percent jump from January and the most since November 2006. More Americans also quit their jobs. Both figures point to a healthier, more dynamic labor market. Businesses have been reluctant to accelerate hiring for much of the nearly seven-year-old recovery. But the raw hiring numbers have now returned to pre-recession levels. That suggests businesses are more confident about the economy’s future."

"Orders for durable goods fell in February for the third time in four months, reflecting a broad-based slowdown that underscores lingering softness in US capital investment. Bookings for goods and materials meant to last at least three years declined 2.8 percent after a 4.2 percent gain that was less the previously reported, Commerce Department data showed Thursday. Bookings for non-military capital goods excluding aircraft dropped 1.8 percent, more than estimated. Limited progress by companies in bringing inventories more in line with sales has led to thinner order books at the nation’s factories. Tepid global markets, the dollar’s advance, and a slump in commodity prices also have led overseas customers to pare bookings as manufacturing remains a weak spot of the economy. The decline in orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a proxy for future business investment in items such as computers, engines, and communications gear, exceeded the median forecast for a 0.5 percent decrease."

"Filings for US unemployment benefits last week rose less than economists forecast as the number of dismissals stayed consistent with a firm labor market, a Labor Department report showed Thursday. Hiring managers are demonstrating a preference to maintain and build staff as domestic demand continues to hold up. Tighter employment conditions are helping to buoy the economic outlook in the face of sluggish overseas growth."

If I say I'm going to earn a $1 million dollars, but expect nothing and then get $50 -- $ucce$$! That's the government $hell game here! Some call it moving goalposts.

"US companies added 200,000 jobs in March. The figures point to an economy that is continuing to generate steady hiring. The report comes out two days before the US government’s official jobs report."

"The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly declined last week to match a more than 42-year low, indicating employers are upbeat about an economy that bogged down in the first quarter. Jobless claims dropped by 13,000 to 253,000 in the week ended April 9, equaling the level in March that was the lowest since November 1973, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for 270,000. Continuing claims also declined, to the lowest since mid-October."

"Jobless claims unexpectedly decreased to the lowest level since 1973, indicating the US labor market remains a pillar of support in the world’s largest economy."


Intel cuts 12,000 jobs
Two Intel executives to leave company
PacSun to seek bankruptcy protection
Nokia to cut 10,000 to 15,000 positions
US companies dial it back on new hires
New filings fall

So sayeth the government.

"Filings for US unemployment benefits increased to a five-week high, a sign that progress in the strongest part of the economy may be moderating. Jobless claims rose by 17,000 to 274,000 in the week ended April 30, a Labor Department report showed Thursday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey was 260,000. The jump was the largest in more than a year. Focus turns to payroll data due Friday from the Labor Department, and forecasts call for another steady employment gain in April."

"US employers posted the most open jobs in eight months in March, but total hiring slowed, providing a mixed picture of the labor market. Job openings jumped 2.7 percent to 5.76 million, the most since September, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That may point to better hiring in the coming months. The number of available jobs rose in manufacturing; professional and business services, which includes engineering and management consulting; and government. Yet hiring slowed to 5.3 million from 5.5 million. That suggests employers became more reluctant to fill open positions, possibly because of slower economic growth from October through March."

Even CIA Valley is slowing down.

Jobless claims fall for second week
Spending surges in April
Factory activity increases in May
Benefit claims drop for third week
Sales higher than expected in May

"A bad day for the job market, Hillary" by Evan Horowitz Globe Staff  June 03, 2016

The Friday jobs report came topped with bad news. Hiring fell dramatically in May, highlighting the lingering weakness of our long post-recession recovery.

A report this disappointing cuts the odds of a further interest rate increase at the Federal Reserve’s June meeting. And if things get worse, it could even scramble the presidential race: A weak economy is bad for the incumbent party, and good for insurgent opponents.

In May, the US economy created just 38,000 new jobs, well below expectations. A small part of this has to do with the strike at Verizon, because those workers were counted as jobless. But even if you adjust for that, today’s numbers still show a dramatic falloff from recent years, when the economy consistently added 150,000 to 300,000 jobs per month.

That's a $tinky excu$e!

There are scraps of better news; wages held steady, for example. But even the stuff that looks like good news turned out to be bad.

Every now and then they actually tell the truth.

For instance, while the unemployment rate dropped from 5 percent to 4.7 percent, it’s not because people found work. It’s because nearly a half-million people without jobs gave up even trying to find work.

SeeWhy New Hampshire’s low jobless rate might not be a good thing

What the numbers mostly show is a labor market that remains surprisingly fragile, far from the ideal world where workers who want good jobs can readily find them.

In contrast to all the government and pre$$ propaganda above!

Perhaps the best way to see this is by looking at the share of people across the United States who actually work. Back in 2006, about 80 percent of 25- to 54-year-olds had jobs. At the bottom of the recession, that fell below 75 percent. And now, seven years into the recovery, it’s still just below 78 percent.

If you think of the recession as knocking us down a flight of stairs, then by this measure we have barely climbed halfway back up, and are only inching our way forward. When members of the Federal Reserve meet this month, they may have to rethink their well-publicized plans to raise interest rates. Rate hikes are designed to keep the economy from improving too fast and spinning out of control, but at the moment that seems a rather distant concern.

The bigger wild card may be the White House. Incumbent parties tend to do best when the economy is strong, and suffer when the economy weakens.

That makes this jobs report especially bad news for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which could find itself haunted by the slogan so identified with her husband’s run in 1992. Why vote for Trump? It’s the economy, stupid.


RelatedObama remembers his first job, scooping ice cream

Also see:


"American workers were less productive again in the January-March quarter, although the decline wasn’t as severe as first thought. Also, labor costs climbed at a faster pace than initially estimated, the Labor Department said."

That means we are being lied to again!

The new normal: Slower job gains

And more job cuts, the damn criminals.

"The Obama administration selected a Los Angeles group Monday to lead an effort aimed at making manufacturing companies more competitive globally by helping them consume less energy and produce less waste. The Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition in Los Angeles will receive $70 million from the federal government to establish the ninth of 15 ‘‘manufacturing hubs’’ that President Obama wants set up across the country. The winning team of nearly 200 partners will at least match that amount. The private-public partnership will develop smart sensors to make all types of manufacturing more efficient, Obama said."

Anybody tell this guy his terms are almost over and ask him why he waited so long? 

It's campaign theater, isn't it?

Fewer seek benefits

That's because in many states benefits for the jobless are being cut so they can repay the federal government for loans made eight years ago.

"Americans went shopping this spring, increasing their spending in May for the second straight month and delivering good news for economic growth. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that consumer spending increased 0.4 percent in May on top of a 1.1 percent surge in April. Spending on durable goods such as autos and appliances grew 0.6 percent, down from a 2.6 percent jump in April. Spending on nondurable goods, such as food and clothing, grew 0.5 percent. And spending on services grew just 0.1 percent."

Factory orders slump in May

"Filings for US unemployment benefits unexpectedly declined last week to the lowest level since mid-April, signaling labor market stability amid a shaky global economy, a Labor Department report showed."

"US employers advertised fewer jobs and hired fewer people in May — a bad month for the US labor market before a surge in hiring in June. The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings slid to 5.5 million in May, the fewest since December and down nearly 6 percent from a record 5.8 million in April. Employers hired 5 million people in May, down slightly from April. The number of people quitting their jobs, which can reflect workers’ confidence in their job prospects, also ticked down in May."

Then they added 172,000 jobs.

"Dow Jones industrial average closes at a record high" by Bernard Condon Associated Press  July 13, 2016

NEW YORK — The stock market reached another milestone Tuesday as the Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high. The biggest gainers included energy companies, which have been benefiting from a recovery in the price of oil, materials companies, and banks. 

I've basically stopped covering the ups-and-downs of a rigged market, sorry.

Financial companies, which have lagged the market this year, have been rising in recent days as long-term interest rates move higher in the bond market. Higher rates mean banks can make more money from lending. Despite recent increases, however, bond yields remain near historic lows, a worrisome sign to many analysts. Just last week the yield on the 10-year Treasury note touched an all-time low. Bond yields tend to fall when demand for bonds rises, which can indicate that investors are seeking safety.

Yeah, yeah, the poor f***ing banks. Flip that record over, will ya'?

‘‘I wish we can be celebrating, but it’s a little disconcerting,’’ said Rob Bartenstein, chief executive of Kestra Private Wealth Services. ‘‘You’ve got government bonds at historical lows and equity markets at historical highs. That’s not something you see at the same time. . . . .’’


Sectors that investors tend to favor when they’re nervous, including utilities, phone companies, and makers of consumer staples, all fell as investors moved money out of lower-risk assets. Bond prices also fell sharply, sending yields higher.

Aluminum maker Alcoa kicked off the second-quarter earnings season on a positive note by reporting revenue and profit that beat Wall Street expectations. Earnings are expected to fall but then rise....

I'm getting di$$y!


"A bull market record that doesn’t feel like it" by Bernard Condon Associated Press  July 12, 2016

It sure $mells like it!

No matter what you think of the stock market — love it, fear it — you’ve got to admire its resilience.

The market has been hit with a string of bad news in the past year. Plunging oil prices. Falling corporate earnings. Fear over rising interest rates. Slowing growth in China. The British vote to leave the European Union.

There were scary headlines, panic selling, big drops. But there was always another rush to buy.

And so it was in the last two trading days.

The bond market is signaling trouble, too. The bull market is fragile.

For much of the bull market, companies have been able to compensate for slow growth in the United States by cutting costs to squeeze more profits out of each sale or ramping up exports to faster growing countries overseas.

What about the workers?

But they’ve cut to the bone, and profit margins are falling now, not rising. What’s more, many of the overseas markets that helped in the past, particularly ones in the developing world, are slowing or stalling.

You could see this in the dismal profit reports over the past year.

At least they made a profit!

Some widely respected gauges of stock market value are signaling trouble, too.

The good news is that the US economy appears healthy.

Not everything is as it "appears."

The rally on Friday was set off by a surprisingly strong jobs report for June, suggesting that employers have been confident enough to hire. And more jobs mean more money for consumers to spend, who power 70 percent of US economic output.

With Alcoa reporting results after the close Monday, the second quarter earnings season has unofficially begun, but there are signs of hope. John Manley, chief equity strategist for Wells Fargo Fund Management, is optimistic.

‘‘Consumers will finally start to feel good after being in a funk,’’ he said, ‘‘and the rest of the economy will open up.’’

He is living in a DREAM WORLD!


"Solid earnings reports drove the stock market to another record high Thursday. The gains were broad, with nine of the 10 industry sectors of the Standard and Poor’s 500 index rising. Banks rose the most, 0.9 percent. ‘‘It’s really early in earnings season, but so far so good,’’ said Brad Sorensen, head of the Schwab Center for Financial Research. ‘‘Optimism is starting to creep into the market.’’ Investors pulled money out of conservative assets like gold and Treasury bonds, sending yields on the bonds sharply higher. They also sold stocks of utility companies, considered a haven because of their safe and steady dividends. The Dow and S&P 500 remain at record highs, but the Nasdaq is barely positive for the year. The US gains followed rallies in Germany, France, and Japan, with stock indexes in each of those countries rising more than 1 percent. British stocks initially rose, then gave up the gains after the Bank of England surprised investors by holding off on cutting interest rates. US stocks have been on a rocky ride since the start of the year. They fell sharply in January and early February on fears a slowdown in China’s economic growth would drag the rest of the world into recession, then rose again, the fell after the shock of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union. But a strong US jobs report last Friday, hopes that Japan’s ruling party will flood its market with even more money, and signs of political stability in Britain have lifted investor spirits. Among companies making big moves Thursday, the Japanese messaging app Line surged 27 percent on its first day of trading, to $41.58. Line has more users than Facebook or Twitter in Japan. Yum Brands climbed 3 percent on better-than-expected profit. Delta Air Lines rose 3.6 percent, also on profit that beat expectations. JPMorgan Chase rose 1.5 percent; its profit and strong trading revenue encouraged investors." 

That is there answer to everything, and it looks like it is time to sell:

"Running an underperforming hedge fund? Your clients are noticing. Eighty-four percent of investors in hedge funds pulled money in the first half of the year, and 61 percent said they will probably make withdrawals later this year, according to a Credit Suisse Group AG study released Tuesday. The main driver among those who redeemed: their fund underperformed. The survey, which polled more than 200 allocators with almost $700 billion invested in hedge funds, found that most were redirecting their money to other managers, rather than exiting the asset class altogether. Only 9 percent said they weren’t planning to reinvest the money they pulled in other hedge funds."

How can that be when the markets are at record highs?

"If you think you’ve got what it takes, you could be the next “Wolfman” at Clark's Trading Post."

I found that job ad in the Metro section, and it could be your big break:

"California lawmakers on Thursday approved the nation’s highest statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour to take effect by 2022 after it was hailed by Democrats as an example to the nation as it struggles with a growing gap between rich and poor....

SeeUS income gap widened last year as top 1 percent gained most

Governor Jerry Brown and Democrats who control both legislative chambers in California hailed the increase as a boon to more than 2 million of state’s poorest workers and as an example to the nation as it struggles with a growing gap between rich and poor. Republicans echoed fears from business owners and economists that the annual increases — eventually tied to inflation — will compound California’s image as hostile to business....

While we have made great strides in recovering from the economic recession, we know the bulk of that growth has been to the benefit of the top 1 or 2 percent," said Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, a Democrat. Assemblyman Jim Patterson, a Republican, countered that such a drastic increase would force small business owners to make layoffs "with tears in their eyes," ultimately resulting in less employment."

They did fire hundreds!

"$15 minimum wage faces scrutiny in California" by Don Thompson and Justin Pritchard Associated Press  March 28, 2016

SACRAMENTO — A political deal to raise California’s minimum wage to a nation-leading $15 an hour could help some workers cope with the state’s crushing cost of living but also deprive other low-wage earners of jobs altogether, economists said Monday as Governor Jerry Brown and other leaders touted what would be a landmark agreement.

California’s economy is larger than that of most countries, with a wide diversity of earners. While newly minted millionaires gentrify neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area, some Central Valley field hands lack access to clean water. A jump from the current $10 an hour spread over six years would affect millions of workers.

Rafael Gutierrez, a 53-year-old farmworker, said the increase would let him treat his family to weekend dinners out and a short vacation to Disneyland from his home in Fresno County.


"Authorities have evicted hundreds of Shanghai residents and dozens of businesses to clean up the air and make way for the newest Disney theme park, which opens Thursday. Residents were paid for lost homes but hundreds of employees of shuttered factories say they don’t know where their next jobs will be. ‘‘You can find low-paying work. But jobs that pay better you can’t get,’’ said a 50-year-old equipment inspector at China Xingyue Group, which makes small utility vehicles and motorbikes. He would give only his surname, Chen. The story has been repeated thousands of times across China over the past two decades as the communist government removed farmers and small businesses for construction of factories, office towers, hydroelectric dams, and other projects."

"Disney reported quarterly earnings Tuesday that fell short of forecasts, and announced it is discontinuing its Disney Infinity line of video games. The company based in Burbank, Calif., said it had second-quarter earnings of $2.14 billion, or $1.30 per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to $1.36 per share. The adjusted results, which exclude the $147 million charge — or 6 cents per share — for shutting the Infinity division down, fell short of Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.40 per share. Disney shares tumbled 6 percent in after-hours trading after the results were released, taking them into negative territory for the year."

You will have to take a pay cut while they raise prices, 'kay?

His last job picking peaches and grapes paid $11 an hour. His girlfriend makes $14 an hour at Target. Though their region is far from California’s costliest, ‘‘Right now, we’re just making it,’’ Gutierrez said. ‘‘Life is expensive.’’

And then there are employers such as Chuck Herrin, owner of Sunrise Farm Labor, which provides roughly 2,500 workers each year in the San Joaquin Valley. Herrin predicted that farmers would hire 10 percent fewer workers because of the higher cost of business.

‘‘It’s going to be devastating,’’ said Herrin of the impacts on field workers and their dependent relatives.

On Monday, Brown touted the deal his administration struck with legislative and labor leaders as potentially historic, calling it a matter of economic justice.

Income inequality has emerged as a top issue nationally.

Comes with every presidential election, then its back to bu$ine$$ as usual.

One leading economist on minimum wage issues said an increase from $10 to $15 would reduce employment among the least-skilled workers by at least 5 to 10 percent. But the impact on employment might be even bigger because employers would have to absorb significantly higher costs.

‘‘I would go so far as to call this reckless,’’ said David Neumark, an economics professor at the University of California, Irvine.

Neumark noted that the effects would vary by geography....

The raises are different in Bo$ton and N.Y. than other places.


Labor market getting tighter in case you missed it.

Also see:

Walmart workers in Mass. getting a raise
Costco raising minimum wage as competition for workers grows

"Is it possible for workers to be generally content with their jobs but hate everything about work? Employee satisfaction is at its highest level in 10 years, yet workers report low satisfaction with their benefits, compensation, time off, and ‘‘respectful treatment,’’ according to an annual survey of 600 employees by the Society for Human Resource Management. Overall, employee satisfaction climbed to 88 percent. That’s up from 82 percent in 2008 and up 11 percentage points from the same survey 10 years ago. The report attributed the large share of content workers to the improved economy."

I'll bet it's the scheduling.

You better love your job; otherwise, they will replace you:

"Pew’s associate director of research Aaron Smith had no explanation for the disconnect, but Smith said this suggests so-called “knowledge-workers” are beginning to see some of their jobs taken over by algorithms. “That’s a big change not only to our economy, but to our social structure,” Smith said.  MIT Professor Emeritus Frank Levy’s recent study, “Can Robots be Lawyers?: Computers, Lawyers and the Practice of Law” showed artificial intelligence will soon replace much of the work lawyers do. Levy said humans won’t disappear from the workplace any time soon because there are still some judgment calls computers aren’t advanced enough to make. That being said, Levy insists that machines will eventually render most jobs obsolete. “If most of the work is going to be done by machines then it’s really important to start thinking early on about who’s going to own these machines,” Levy said."

They just won't need as many of us; they will use robots instead, as per prophecy.

iRobot’s new mop

It also mows the lawn.

"Unhappy with the company’s performance, California investment firm Red Mountain Capital Partners had previously pressured iRobot to sell off its defense and security robot business."

"Lockheed Martin Corp. plans to cull about 1,000 jobs from its aeronautics division, which makes the F-35 fighter and other military aircraft, amid constrained defense spending. The world’s largest defense company is offering voluntary layoffs to mid-level employees in Texas, Georgia, California, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Maryland, Lockheed said in a statement Tuesday. Lockheed has been looking to bolster profit margins in aeronautics, its largest division and the source of about one-third of company revenue, as it speeds up production of the F-35, the Pentagon’s largest weapons system."

If the war contractors are shedding jobs we are all in big trouble.

The delivery by unmanned marine robots will have a fee attached, but at least there won't be need for a probe.

How long before they are treated as human?


Oh, sh**, I lost track of the kid!

Maybe he went for a drink of water in the Nike store


Check the toy stores!

"Hasbro Inc. shares rose 5.8 percent after quarterly earnings topped analysts’ estimates, boosted by demand for “Star Wars”-licensed toys and its own Nerf and Play-Doh properties. Profit increased to 38 cents a share in the first quarter, which ended March 27, the Pawtucket, R.I.-based company said on Monday. Revenue rose 16 percent to $831.2 million, beating the $779.3 million projection. Hasbro’s sales surged in both its boys and girls categories, helping make up for a slump in its board-game division. The company also has hitched its fortunes to Walt Disney Co.’s entertainment franchises. Toys based on “Star Wars,” and Disney princesses fueled growth last quarter, Hasbro said. “Demand for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ products continued to be high, and we benefited from the addition of Disney Princess and ‘Frozen’ fashion and small dolls,” chief executive Brian Goldner said in a statement."

"Where’s Optimus Prime when you need him? Hasbro Inc. suffered its worst stock decline in nine months after reporting a slowdown in growth of boy-oriented toys, hurt in part by the lack of a new “Transformers” film. Sales generated by Hasbro’s Boys products — its biggest category — grew just 4.3 percent in the second quarter, the Pawtucket, R.I.-based company said on Monday. That compared with 24 percent growth in the first quarter. A gap in the “Transformers” movie series is taking a toll on related toys, chief executive Brian Goldner said on a conference call. The next installment in the sci-fi franchise is due next year. The company also had the benefit of the “Jurassic World” movie a year ago, making the latest sales comparisons tougher."

Those things come with a license?

"It can be a hard life for much-loved stuffed animals that get tugged, rubbed, and slept on, but Amalia Kenny has come to their rescue. She started a toy repair business last summer after learning to sew. Amalia’s business began with a big stuffed platypus that her mother got 11 years ago. Her repair of the platypus, now named Mr. Stitches, was so successful that Amalia repaired other worn-out stuffed animals around the house. After fixing the stuffed animals at home, Amalia decided to offer her toy repair services to other families. Since then Amalia, age 9, has fixed ripped-off arms and legs, and other injuries, charging $3 to repair a small rip in a seam to $7 to $10 for reattaching a limb or ear." speaking of stitching up limbs."

I know, you are too old for stuffed animals.

The movie houses then!

"Uncertainty over the competitive landscape as well as fears about growth prospects, both in the United States and around the world, put a cloud over the generally positive first-quarter financial results that Netflix announced on Monday. In the United States, Netflix surpassed its forecasts for subscriber growth. Outside the United States, Netflix also beat its expectations for growth, but the figure also represents a decrease from the 2.4 million subscribers the streaming service added outside America in the same period the previous year."

Honey, how much money do you have?

Nearly half of Americans could not cover a $400 emergency

"When a loved one asks for money, it’s hard to say no. A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts quantifies just how often Americans pull out checkbooks for family and friends. About a quarter of US households gave or lent a median of $1,000 to friends or family in the past year, according to the study, which was based on interviews with more than 7,800 households. This flow of money among friends, parents, children, and other relatives represents a ‘‘hidden dimension of the financial system,’’ said study author Diana Elliott, a research manager at Pew. ‘‘Transfers of money across household lines are really important for keeping families afloat.’’ While black households were the likeliest to both give and receive financial help, the urge to help is fairly widespread across all demographics."

Then she LIED TO ME!!

"With the summer wedding season in full swing, the most important prop — a diamond ring — will cost you. A 1-carat diamond will cost the equivalent of eight weeks’ salary, or about $7,300, for the average American worker as of last month. But the ring is just the beginning: the average investment for a wedding in the United States is at a record high, nearing $30,000, according to a 2014 survey of 13,000 brides by TheKnot.com."

Ummmmmm, I'm going to need that back if we are to get out of the mall.

Now that we are outside the kid can check his phone: