The president abruptly walked out of a meeting Wednesday, saying he would not negotiate with Democrats while they continue to investigate him.Politicsread more
More voters in five key industrial states disapprove than approve of Trump's handling of trade — 56% to 41%, according to a report.Politicsread more
When the Fed releases minutes of its last meeting on Wednesday afternoon, it risks sounding a bit hawkish.Market Insiderread more
Talk about 5G is everywhere right now, from the trade-war with China to the ban on Huawei. Here's what 5G is and why it matters.Technologyread more
Morgan Stanley caused a stir with its "bear case" scenario of $10. Now, Citi is getting in on the act.Investingread more
Americans in certain areas of the country have significantly higher average credit scores than others. Experian's annual State of Credit report shows the average score in each...Spendread more
Target's CEO thinks the retail industry is shaking out to show clear winners and losers. Those companies that are investing in stores and online are winners, he said.Retailread more
A put credit spread is a good, risk-conscious way to trade the volatile semiconductor cohort, says TradingAnalysis.com founder Todd Gordon.Trading Nationread more
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he has spoken with a top Walmart executive about how it can keep prices low amid the U.S.-China spat.Marketsread more
China is considering cutting natural gas purchases from the U.S. in its tit-for-tat strategy on trade, according to the South China Morning Post.Marketsread more
Sidewalk Labs has faced public scrutiny over its plans to build a smart city on Toronto's waterfront, adding obstacles for the project.Technologyread more
Not all was well in Toy Land in 2018.
Sales in the industry fell 2 percent last year as toy manufacturers endured their first Christmas without Toys R Us in more than 60 years, according to a new report.
In the U.S., customers spent $21.6 billion on toys last year, less than the $22 billion shelled out for action figures, dolls and games in 2017, according to market researcher NPD Group.
"After the liquidation announcement of Toys‟R"Us last year, there was a great deal of speculation about what would happen to the industry, with some predicting double-digit declines," Juli Lennett, vice president and industry advisor at NPD Group, said in a statement.
Lennett called the 2 percent decline a "solid performance" considering how much the landscape has changed in the last year. Toys R Us was estimated to account for 10 to 15 percent of all toy sales prior to its closure in June.
Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink said NPD's figures imply that toy sales fell 6 percent in the fourth and suggests that retailers were able to recapture about 35 percent of the market share displaced by Toys R Us.
While a number of retailers, including Target, Walmart and even drug stores, expanded their toy sections this past holiday season, there were still far fewer shelves showcasing toys in 2018 than in years prior. The loss of shelf space appeared to disproportionately affect items like plush toys, building sets and sports toys.
Nostalgia over the loss of Toys R Us boosted toy sales in the beginning of the year, but it wasn't enough to fuel full-year sales. First half toy sales rose 7 percent, according to NPD. Wissink said about $650 million to $700 million of toy sales were pulled forward into the first half of the year.
"While TRU recapture was significantly lower than initial forecasts, the gap to expectations is well known and factored into current stock prices," Wissink said in a research note. The focus now shifts to how quickly inventories can be reduced and what the outlook is for 2019.
While Toys R Us stores have been dark for months, a group of former Toys R Us executives have reportedly been reaching out to toy manufacturers to create a comeback plan for the toy brand, according to the New York Post.