Latest Blogposts

  • Walmart welcomes back greeters

    After a three year absence, Walmart (WMT) greeters will soon be saying “hello” again at several stores. The world’s largest retailer clarified to Yahoo Finance that greeters have never really left us, but were given other duties that took them away from the entrance.

    The renewed focus on greeting actually has very little to do with welcoming shoppers and more to do with making sure customers don’t walk away with merchandise without paying. Shoplifting, referred to as “shrink” in the retail business, is an increasing problem.

    “I think the extra set of eyes at the door makes some kind of sense,” says Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli. “Shoplifting is a huge issue for every single retailer.”

    According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention there are 27 million shoplifters in the United States today and the most recent Global Retail Theft Barometer says "shrink" cost U.S. retailers $24 billion in 2013, the last year for which they have data.

    “What [Walmart CEO

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  • New kids on the block: IPOs grab Wall Street’s attention

    IPOs are hot!

    After a somewhat lackluster first half of the year, new stock offerings are creating a big buzz on Wall Street.

    This past week Fitbit (FIT) blew the doors off with an initial stock sale that was the biggest tech IPO of 2015, with shares going for more than the wearable device company’s already increased price range. Then it followed it up with a boffo first day of trading, which carried over to a second-straight session.

    Immediately on the heels of Fitbit, upscale Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chao (FOGO) also topped predictions with its IPO and shares spiked in their debut.

    And according to Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer, the hits will just keep on coming.

    “I was talking to someone from the New York Stock Exchange last night and they said they were gearing up for next week,” he says. “They’ve got 10 IPOs on the Big Board, seven on the Nasdaq.”

    Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli thinks there’s a good reason for the recent surge in IPOs.

    “We’re

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  • Why Pope Francis wants you to turn off the lights

    For as popular as he is, Pope Francis is no fan of free-market capitalism. He blames the profit motive for degrading human dignity, faults financial speculation for many of the world’s biggest problems and sounds downright socialist when he calls for “a better distribution of wealth.”

    The anti-capitalist tone of the Pope’s environmental encyclical, “On Care for our Common Home,” has put many westerners on the defensive. Without coming right out and saying so, the pope basically argues that an orgy of overconsumption by greedy westerners imperils the planet.

    “A minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized,” he writes. “The planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption.”

    The pope asserts that global warming caused by, well, us, is having the most devastating effects on poor, faraway parts of the world that can’t afford the tools to combat drought, deforestation or rising sea levels. He warns that “large multinational

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  • Hot IPOs and stalled car sellers were stocks investors were following based on Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Fogo de Chão

    Shares of Fogo de Chão (FOGO) sizzled on its debut. The Brazilian steakhouse chain IPO'd on the Nasdaq and soared well above its opening price of $20 a share.

    FitBit

    FitBit (FIT) logged more healthy gains after its Wall Street debut. The stock was up double digits after surging 48% on Thursday. The wearable fitness device maker priced its initial public offering at $20 a share on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    CarMax

    CarMax (KMX) shifted into reverse and was one of the S&P 500's (^GSPC) biggest decliners. The company slightly missed Wasll Street's sales expectations but met profit estimates for the first quarter at $0.86 a share. CarMax dealt with a slowdown in the used car market as sales for new cars surged.

    Read More »from Fogo sizzles on IPO; Fitbit logs healthy gains; CarMax skids
  • ‘Mini IPOs’ now open to the public

    Starting today, startups can more easily raise money from the public through “mini IPOs.”

    New Securities and Exchange Commission rules allow small investors to engage in equity funding for companies seeking to raise up to $50 million dollars. Until now, funding opportunities were mostly available to accredited investors-- those who earn more than $200,000 per year or have a net worth greater than $1 million. Before the new rules, firms could raise $5 million from nonaccredited investors, but they would have to file extensive and costly offering documents.

    “These new rules provide an effective, workable path to raising capital that also provides strong investor protections,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White in a statement.  “It is important for the Commission to continue to look for ways that our rules can facilitate capital-raising by smaller companies.”

    The final rules implement provisions of the 2012 JOBS Act, which set out to ease securities laws on fundraising for new ventures. Yahoo

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  • Honoring My Father By Swapping A $100 SUV

    Like a lot of surprises in life, this all started with some spare cash floating around in my pocket and a few too many drinks.

    I was up well past midnight and in front of my computer.  Surfing had turned into browsing. Browsing had turned into shopping, and pretty soon I was looking with rose-colored glasses at a bunch of old government cars that had either been seized, smashed up, or mothballed.

    There was one in particular that caught my eye.  

    This 1994 Ford Explorer that seemed to have more dirt on it than paint. The description from the City of Roswell didn’t help matters.

    1994 FORD EXPLORER WHITE WITH GRAY INTERIOR, 4.0 L V-6 AUTOMATIC, AC, MINOR SCRATCHES AND DENTS ON EXTERIOR, NO CRACKED GLASS, DEAD BATTERY, DRY ROTTED TIRES, NEEDS SHOCKS, NO KEYS

    A lot of room for the imagination about the Explorer’s true condition turned into one dangerous thought, “There is something nice about this one!" 

    I’m not much for SUVs, but the terms and restrictions for the sale made it look like

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  • Walmart greeters return, U.S. companies in Russia and IPO mania

    The three major stock indices (^DJI, ^GSPC, ^IXIC) are all trading lower through the middle of the session and we'll give you one guess why...hint, it's Greece.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    Here are some of the other stories Yahoo Finance is keeping on eye on today.

    IPO market heating up
    Yesterday, it was Fitbit (FIT). Today, the buzz on Wall Street is Fogo de Chao (FOGO). Shares of the Brazilian steakhouse chain popped 25% when trading began earlier. Meantime, Fitbit is adding to its big first day gains, getting a nice second-day pop. And next week, the IPO excitement continues with what could be the biggest one this year, credit score provider TransUnion.

    International Economic Forum
    Despite U.S. and European sanctions against Russia and President Vladimir Putin over Ukraine, several Western business leaders are in Saint Petersburg for this year's International Economic Forum. Also dropping by, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, whose government is

    Read More »from Walmart greeters return, U.S. companies in Russia and IPO mania
  • Here’s a look at some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching for you today.

    Hershey (HSY) shares are lower in early trading. The chocolate maker lowered its sales and profit outlook for the year due to a slowdown in growth in China. Hershey also said it would cut 300 jobs by the end of 2015.  And the company is creating a global leadership team to help tackle growth in emerging markets.

    Fogo De Chao is getting ready to make its Wall Street debut this morning. The Brazilian steak house priced its initial public offering above its expected range at $20 dollars a share Thursday. That values the company at roughly $545 million. The stock is set to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “FOGO."

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    ConAgra (CAG) shares are up sharply in early trading after activist investor Jana Partners bought a 7.2% stake in the packaged food company, according to an SEC filing. The hedge fund called ConAgra's shares

    Read More »from Hershey falls on sour outlook; Fogo De Chao serves Wall St; ConAgra up on activist stake
  • Greek debt endgame; Chinese correction; Goodbye Martha Stewart?

    Investors ending the week with one eye on the 3-day rally that led the Nasdaq (^IXIC) to a record and another on the situation in Greece, as the long-running drama over the country's debt crisis may be coming to a climax.

    Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli feels Wall Street still isn't overly concerned about a possible Greek default and exit from the Euro Zone.

    "It's hard for investors here to draw a very direct chain of events that's going to compromise corporate cash flows here," he says. "Obviously it could create a little bit of stress in the European banking system, but I don't think right now investors are inclined to pre-panic about that sort of thing because we've been living with this threat for five years."

    Related:  Traders channel Bill Murray on Greece, China: 'It just doesn't matter'

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    Hershey job cuts

    Here’s a look at some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching for you today.

    Hershey

    Read More »from Greek debt endgame; Chinese correction; Goodbye Martha Stewart?
  • Why a rate hike is a good sign for stocks: CIO

    Earnings stumbled in the first half of the year but Burt White, chief investment officer at LPL Financial, sees several reasons why profits will rebound for the second half of 2015.

    Despite the Fed cutting its economic outlook, White believes history will repeat itself, “this played out last year, a really bad winter in the first quarter of 2014 only followed up with very strong 3% GDP growth in the second half that fueled a great rally in the market, we think the same is playing out here…better growth in the second half.”

    The market is anticipating the Fed’s first rate hike in nearly a decade. Many traders are betting it will come later this year. “The big thing to remember about a rate hike is it’s not as bad for equities as people think," advised White. “If you look at the last nine times the Fed has raised rates, in the year after they raised rates, eight of those nine times, the market’s been positive by almost double digits.”

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo

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  • Summer camps are opening their bunks, and stock traders are chanting Bill Murray’s dismissive rallying cry from that classic camp movie “Meatballs”: “It just doesn’t matter.”

    Greece’s financial lifeline remains in serious peril, you say?

    Doesn’t matter (yet). We’ve been at this five years and it’s hard to draw a direct link between Grexit and American corporate cash flows.

    The Shanghai stock market is down 10% this week alone and is beginning to look like a critically unstable speculative casino - is that right?

    That’s worth watching – but how much did it really matter to U.S. investors when the Mainland market was doubling over the past year?

    The internal action of the American stock market remains a bit ragged, doesn’t it, with those uncooperative transportation stocks bouncing only meekly even as the S&P 500 (^GSPC) advances toward the top of its months-long range?

    It’s hard to get too concerned at this point about the rail and freight stocks when they’ve been suffering for months

    Read More »from Traders channel Bill Murray on Greece, China: 'It just doesn't matter'
  • Why women still pay more for cars

    Am I a typical female car buyer? When I bought a new car last year, I had one in mind after admiring a newly designed model on the street. I read about the car on the auto maker’s website. I compared similar models, making sure this one suited my needs. I crunched the numbers every which way. It wasn’t until I was 99% sure I wanted this car that I set foot in a dealership to test drive it.

    The current research says yes, that makes me typical in today’s car buyer market. The car I purchased, a compact hatchback, was exactly what I set out to buy, down to the trim level and colour.

    Women are the primary decision makers for 75 per cent of households when it comes to selecting the make, model and colour of the vehicle, says Radek Garbowski, COO of Unhaggle.com.

    But even if they’re buying a new car for themselves, 69 per cent of women will still bring a man to help with negotiations, says Garbowski, recounting a story of a real estate agent, well versed in the art of negotiation in her

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  • How much would you spend on your wedding?

    With wedding season in full swing, couples everywhere are planning their big day. It’s about love, commitment, family… and, of course, spending an ungodly amount of money on the hall, the flowers and grilled rack of lamb for your 150 guests.

    According to The Knot, which surveyed 16,000 brides and grooms who got married in 2014, couples spent an average of $31,213 on their nuptials last year –up from $29,858 in 2013 and an all-time high.

    Couples tended to spend more on their reception and less on the ceremony itself. The largest chunk of the budget – an average of $14,006 – was spent on the venue, which includes the cost of catering, musicians and cake. Per-person catering costs rose from $66 in 2013 to $68 last year.

    The Knot found that 45% of couples went over their budget in 2014 and 23% of couples didn’t even have one. Almost half of the couples that we spoke with who had budgets spent more than they initially wanted to.

    Yahoo Finance hit the streets of New York City recently to ask

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  • It’s a call that most Americans would be honored to get. An email from the Smithsonian Institution last May asking me if I wanted me to do some work for them. The Smithsonian, or more specifically the National Museum of American History, was requesting that I help edit a book they were publishing in conjunction with the opening of a major new exhibit on the history of American business, called “American Enterprise.” The exhibition would be the first focused look at business in our country by the museum—and it would run for 20 years. For someone who loves history and is a student of all things business, it sounded like a terrific project. (Maybe it’s not quite like getting a call from the Baseball Hall of Fame, but then again I never could hit a curve ball. Or a fastball for that matter.)
     
    The first step would be understanding the assignment and then wrapping my brain around the exhibition itself. Carolyn Gleason, the editor of the book, explained to me that the exhibit, which is set to

    Read More »from From the cotton gin to computers: Telling the story of business in America
  • Gender and sexual orientation can both influence what someone sees on their paycheque. (Thinkstock)Gender and sexual orientation can both influence what someone sees on their paycheque. (Thinkstock)

    Canada’s wage gap has been well established. Researchers have uncovered wage disparities based on gender, race, immigration status and visible minority identities. But until now, little attention has been given to the relationship between wages and sexual orientation.

    Nicole Denier and Sean Waite aim to change that. In their report, “Gay Pay for Straight Work: Mechanisms Generating Disadvantage” published in Gender and Society, the two McGill University Ph.D. candidates set out to understand in the economic lives of gay and lesbian Canadian.

    Their initial findings match findings in other areas of the world: gay men make less money than straight men, and lesbians earn more than straight women. Denier and Waite wanted to take things further, though. By comparing the earnings of lesbians to heterosexual men, they found a hierarchy, where straight men earn the most, followed by gay men, lesbians, and finally straight women.

    For many, the apparent benefits of being a lesbian in the

    Read More »from Gay men make less than straight men, but lesbians out-earn straight women, study finds

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