Global Glance: Wal-Mart slows store openings; ECB open to providing new stimulus

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

Wal-Mart plans to slow new store openings, invest online

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart says it plans to slow new store openings as it looks to pour more money into its online efforts, technology and store remodels. Shares of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based chain fell slightly in Thursday premarket trading. Wal-Mart closed on its more than $3 billion buyout of last month, showing how heavily it’s willing to invest as it tries to boost online sales that totaled $13.7 billion last year – still just a fraction of the company’s annual revenue. Read more

ECB leaders think stimulus needs time to work, open to more

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Top officials at the European Central Bank remain open to providing new stimulus to raise inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro as their currency – but for now are emphasizing carrying out measures they have already agreed on. That’s according to a written account released Thursday of the Sept. 8 meeting of the bank’s 25-member governing council. Read more

Obama warns of taking dramatic steps that could harm economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Breaking up the nation’s biggest banks or erecting steep tariffs on imports may sound appealing, but the economy cannot be redesigned and put back together again without harmful consequences for many Americans, President Barack Obama says in an essay published in the Economist Magazine Instead, Obama in the article published Thursday urged less dramatic steps to boost labor productivity, combat rising income inequality and ensure that everyone who wants a job can get one. Read more

UK Treasury chief to reassure bankers of London future

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Treasury chief has a message for major bankers in New York: London will keep its leading position on the financial stage even after it leaves the European Union. Chancellor Philip Hammond intends to meet with the chiefs of Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and other major players in a series of meetings in New York on Thursday. Read more

Trump, once a data skeptic, spending millions on data

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump once called data “overrated” in politics. But with Election Day swiftly approaching, the Republican presidential nominee is spending millions of dollars on data and digital services in an effort to land donations and win over voters. Ushering Trump toward a more analytical approach are Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, and Brad Parscale, the campaign’s digital director and a veteran Trump Organization consultant. Both men – friends – are new to politics and have built a team largely without Washington operatives, whom they dismiss as overpaid and overrated. Read more

Theranos closing labs, laying off 340 following sanctions

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Embattled blood testing company Theranos says it will shut down its clinical labs and wellness centers and lay off more than 40 percent of its full-time employees. In an open letter released late Wednesday, Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes says the shutdowns “will impact approximately 340 employees in Arizona, California, and Pennsylvania.” Theranos has laboratory facilities in Newark, California, and Scottsdale, Arizona. Read more

US claims for jobless aid drop to lowest since mid-April

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits last week felt to the lowest level since mid-April, another sign that workers are enjoying job security despite sluggish economic growth. The Labor Department says weekly applications for jobless aid slid by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 249,000. The less volatile four-week average dropped 2,500 to 253,500, the lowest level since December 1973. Read more

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