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NEW YORK Regardless of the results of Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election, the next four years will be a tough act to follow from Wall Street’s standpoint. The benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has rallied 66 percent since President Barack Obama took office – one of the most impressive runs ever for stocks under a single president. Admittedly, the timing of his inauguration – just before the market hit a nadir in March 2009 – is part of the reason. The national polls show a tight race between Obama and his challenger, Republican candidate Mitt Romney, but leaning toward a [...]

SAN FRANCISCO From Fab.com to Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc, e-commerce companies scrambled on Tuesday to get goods to buyers on time after Hurricane Sandy tore a swathe of destruction across the U.S. northeast. The storm — which severed power to warehouses and offices, ripped up rails and roads and shuttered airports — challenged the notion that Internet retailers might benefit from problems at store chains exposed to the elements. Fab.com, a fast-growing design e-commerce start-up based in New York City, handled unusually strong volumes on Monday as people hunkered down at home. Then the problems began. Fab operates out [...]

NEW DELHI India’s Finance Minister P. Chidambaram exudes the self-confidence of a man who, in the eyes of India’s cheerleading financial markets, can do little wrong. In the 11 weeks since he took office, the benchmark BSE index has surged around 8 percent, due in large part to his hard-charging drive to boost investor sentiment that had soured under his predecessor, Pranab Mukherjee. But the reality is the steps taken so far will not fix the sluggish economy in the near term, and the window of opportunity for implementing game-changing reforms such as slashing government spending on fuel, food and [...]

The Route to Hard Decisions

You are not wasting your time. You, the one who now thinks majoring in marketing was a mistake, the one who entered the industry at your parents’ urging because you’d always be able to find a job, the one who after 10 years realizes it’s not at all a job you want. You are not wasting your time. Now, please don’t read that as, “You should continue to work in this area you’re not thrilled about.” You should not, unless maybe you’re like Wallace Stevens. Yes, the poet who made such an impact in the 20th century that he’s now [...]

NEW YORK/CHICAGO Wal-Mart Stores Inc employees who say the world’s largest retailer’s labor practices are unfair voiced their concerns to Wall Street analysts on Monday, claiming that problems like long lines and empty shelves are systemic. Five employees, two of whom have worked for the chain for more than 20 years, outlined problems they see, including unsafe conditions and low wages. A handful of sell-side analysts turned out to hear from Walmart workers nearly a year after a similar meeting was held near Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. The meeting, organized by the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, [...]

NEW YORK/CHICAGO Wal-Mart Stores Inc employees who say the world’s largest retailer’s labor practices are unfair voiced their concerns to Wall Street analysts on Monday, claiming that problems like long lines and empty shelves are systemic. Five employees, two of whom have worked for the chain for more than 20 years, outlined problems they say they see, including unsafe conditions and low wages. A handful of sell-side analysts turned out to hear from Walmart workers nearly a year after a similar meeting was held near Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. The meeting brought the employees’ complaints to an audience that [...]

NEW YORK John Chambers, the Cisco Corp. chief executive doesn’t envy the work that lies ahead of fellow big-tech CEO Meg Whitman at Hewlett-Packard Co. . Chambers told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday that the former Ebay Inc. CEO and California gubernatorial candidate Whitman has, “a tough hand to play, but clearly as a competitor I like competing against that hand, and we are going to try and accelerate while they are struggling.” The two companies compete across several markets. HP has struggled in recent years as rival Apple Inc.’s grown by leaps and bounds in the hardware space, [...]

Hard Rock has a music memorabilia collection consisting of more than 70,000 piecesThe first Hard Rock opened in London in 1971, today it has 139 cafes worldwide The franchise is expanding into hotels and casinos, it currently has 16 such venues The Hard Rock Cafe franchise, famed for its rock’n’roll memorabilia, is expanding its reach into hotels and casinos — but its chief executive says the brand will remain “special.””We don’t want to be in every street corner, in every city of the UK,” Hard Rock’s Hamish Dodds told CNN.”We want to have a few very special locations, and keep [...]

This photo taken on June 25, 2011 shows a worker stoking a giant burning cauldron at a steel mill in Hefei, China.The Chinese economy has consistently outperformed annual targets over the past decadeBut with activity cooling, Beijing’s goal of 7.5% annual growth is looking ambitiousVirtually all economic indicators showed the slowdown continuing into JulySome analysts are starting to contemplate what a Chinese “hard landing” would mean (Financial Times) — When Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, announced this year’s annual growth target of 7.5 per cent in March, most analysts assumed he was being unduly modest and that the world’s second-largest [...]

The cost of nuclear power is “really hard to justify,” says the CEO of GE, a top atomic manufacturer.GE CEO: Nuclear power is so expensive compared with other forms of energy “It’s really a gas and wind world today,” Jeff Immelt told the Financial Times (Financial Times) — Nuclear power is so expensive compared with other forms of energy that it has become “really hard” to justify, according to the chief executive of General Electric, one of the world’s largest suppliers of atomic equipment.”It’s really a gas and wind world today,” said Jeff Immelt, referring to two sources of electricity [...]

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