There is growing unrest among the ranks at America's largest employer: Wal-mart (WMT).
Workers from a dozen stores in the Los Angeles-area went on a one-day strike Thursday "in the first-ever Wal-mart Associate walk-out in protest of attempts to silence and retaliate against workers for speaking out for improvements on the job," according to a press release from the strike's organizers.
The United Nations food agency reports that food prices are rising again, reaching 6-month highs and nearing levels not since 2008. Higher prices then spurred food riots in the Middle East and North Africa, which fueled the Arab Spring.
There's no sign of widespread food riots now but eventually there could be, says Lester Brown, president and founder of the Earth Policy Institute and author of the new book "Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity."
September same-store sales beat Wall Street expectations but the increase in purchases did little to quell concerns that consumers are cutting back on clothing and accessories. Research firm Retail Metrics said sales jumped 3.9 percent last month; the majority of analysts were forecasting a gain of 3.7 percent. Retail Metrics tracks 20 retailers, excluding drugstores. September sales trailed off mid-month as the annual back-to-school shopping season ended. Sales at department stores rose 1.4 percent last month compared to a 5.6 percent increase in specialty-apparel chains and a 4.3 percent rise at discount stores.
The pundits have been saying for weeks that Mitt Romney had to win the first presidential debate to have a good shot at winning the election, and he did. Yahoo! Finance reached out to several top market strategists and economists to give their immediate reaction to Wednesday's debate. Their comments ranged from the color of the candidates' ties to whether the candidates forcefully made their case to the small percentage of undecided voters. (Responses are below).
Most predictions flop and even highly skilled forecasters can fail to get it right more often than not.
That observation comes from Nate Silver, a statistical whiz and polling master who correctly called every state but one in the 2008 presidential election. In his new book "The Signal and the Noise" Silver says the most trusted prediction methods are far from flawless.
One of the most amazing entrepreneurs in history, Steven P. Jobs, died a year ago this week.
In his absence, the company that Jobs built and then resurrected, Apple, has thrived.
It's been a bad week for Microsoft.
On Monday, Google (GOOG) overthrew Microsoft (MSFT) as the third most valuable company in the U.S. based on market capitalization. (Microsoft has since reclaimed this title). Microsoft, once the top dog among tech companies, has continued to lose market share and dominance in the tech world as consumer demand has shifted away from the PC and software business.
Mortgage applications spiked nearly 17% last week after interest rates touched another record low. As of Sept. 27, the rate for a 30-year mortgage was 3.4%.
According the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Application Survey, refinancing hit a level not seen since April 2009.
The news of increased mortgage activity is very much tied to the Federal Reserve's open-ended QE3 program announced in mid-September and its pledge to keep interest rates low through mid-2015.
Stocks have surged to multi-year highs this year, bittersweet news to investors who have shifted a record amount of money out of stocks and into bonds and bond ETFs.
The last few years have not been kind to investors and many are still leery of risky assets like equities. Despite trading at 5-year highs, stocks are still relatively unchanged from where they were a decade ago, making this something of a lost generation for equity investors. The "stocks versus bonds" question may be ancient, but it has never been more apropos.
With just hours to go before the first presidential election debate, there's another debate involving the campaignsa debate about presidential polls. Republicans argue the pollswhich show President Barack Obama ahead by an average four pointsare biased in favor of the president. Democrats maintain that the polls are correctly showing the president pulling ahead of his opponent Mitt Romney.