Finance, Business, and Science

15 Sep

New categories 1 article for each. I am doing my best with my team to get you your news.

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Business (copied directly from Forbes.com) 99% ad-free

August is A Clunker for Retailers

By: Tom Van Riper

Thanks to a lot of help from Uncle Sam, shoppers nudged their wallets open just enough in August to clock their first month-to-month gain in six months. But real growth remains a ways off.
Sales at retail stores inched up 0.6% in August from July, the government reported on Tuesday. That’s not counting big increases in auto sales (10.6% thanks to government incentives) and gasoline (5.1% on higher prices) that, when accounted for, pushed the broad retail sector up 2.7% in August, the biggest hike in over three years.
“Consumers still aren’t spending much money, but they are starting to buy big appliances and things they need,” says Britt Beemer, who runs America’s Research Group, a retail market research firm. “You can only keep repairing that refrigerator for so long.” He sees things getting a big better in the fourth quarter, though winners figure to be limited to heavy discounters like Dollar Tree (DLTR – news – people ) andFamily Dollar StoresFDOnews – people ), along with Sears and other appliance retailers that run effective sales. His tracking numbers indicate that even Wal-MartWMT – news people ), which no longer announces monthly sales, had a soft August.
But after tossing out the effect of the government’s handout of taxpayer money to car buyers, August was mostly a clunker. Retail sales excluding autos, gasoline and restaurants dropped 4.3% from a year ago, compared to a 1.1% gain last August from August 2007, according to the National Retail Federation. Sales last month were off more than 10% at both electronics and appliances stores, and almost 6% at apparel chains from August 2008.
Shares of major retailers were mixed on the news Tuesday, with department store chains Macy‘s M – news – people ) andJ.C. PenneyJCP – news – people ) showing solid gains, while Wal-Mart and fellow discounter CostcoCOST – news people ) were down slightly. Best BuyBBY – news – people ), which narrowly missed quarterly profit projections, plunged more than 5%.
Still, the first month-to-month upswing since February does bring some hope. A year ago, the NRF reported a year-over-year gain from August 2007 but a slight dip from the prior month, the first sign that a consumer spending downturn was underway. This year, the numbers reversed: a year-over-year decline decorated with a modest monthly increase. Industry trackers say that could signal a trend the other way, however slight.
“It’s a potential sign of an inflection point,” says Frank Badillo, an economist with Retail Forward who expects the rate of year-over-year declines to diminish throughout the rest of the year.
The national jobless rate still hovers near 10%, making a big consumer spending push unlikely anytime soon. But low interest rates should bring continued mortgage refinancings, putting more cash in people’s pockets. And after deferring a lot of purchases over the past year, some consumers have, to some degree, a pent-up need for clothes, appliances and computers, he figures.
“We don’t need too much of an acceleration in demand to start seeing positive numbers,” Badillo says. Good thing. With the economy moving into a jobless recovery, the acceleration doesn’t figure to be too robust for awhile.

Science/ Tech (copied directly from PC MAG) Ads may be included

By Matthew Murray

Microsoft has fought valiantly (and, so far, vainly) for its Zune music player and Marketplace against the bourgeoning popularity of Apple’s iPod and iTunes. Persistent rethinking and refining against overwhelming opposition and underwhelming market share has today resulted in both the impressive new Zune HD hardware and version 4.0 of its PC client software and Zune Marketplace. The Marketplace represents Microsoft’s biggest and brightest gamble yet, with more and better features and much-anticipated movies and HD content. None of the Zune’s significant changes is likely to woo contented Apple users away from their iPods and the snazzy, just-released iTunes 9. But Zune owners and lovers will rejoice in the many new opportunities this update allows.

red arrowRead the Zune Marketplace (September 2009) full review

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2 Responses to “Finance, Business, and Science”

  1. lililately September 15, 2009 at 11:15 pm #

    Sorry for the article so long. Password for article below is: murder

  2. Computers & Tech September 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    Hello there,
    Nice site, I just found it and I’m already a fan.

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