Dollar General booked a 3.3% increase in fourth-quarter same-store sales and is forecasting 9% sales growth for this year, pulling ahead of rival Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree beat out Dollar General to acquire Family Dollar in 2015, and it's now investing to integrate the chain, improve stores, raise wages and improve employee training.
If President Donald Trump wants to eliminate obstacles to trade, he should drop tariffs on steel and aluminum and reopen negotiations on a US-EU free trade deal, European Council President Donald Tusk said. "Instead of risking a trade war, which he seems eager to wage, we should be aiming for greater cooperation," Tusk said.
European Central Bank board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger wants an end to government bailouts for failing banks, saying owners and creditors should take responsibility. Banks and investors have had "little incentive to act in a sustainable and forward-looking manner" because they have become accustomed to bailouts, Lautenschlaeger says.
Robert Ophele, chairman of France's Autorite des Marches Financiers, has called for urgent toughening of EU equivalence rules and for safeguards to minimise disruption when the UK departs the EU. Oliver Moullin, AFME's head of Brexit, says, "With little more than a year to go before the UK leaves the EU, clarity is needed urgently on actions to mitigate these cliff-edge risks in order to maintain financial stability."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is going to Paris to discuss an EU financial-policy overhaul with French President Emmanuel Macron after months of focusing on building a coalition government. The two agree on the importance of strengthening the EU but have differed on how to best reach that goal.
Bitcoin has endured a turbulent year, after an exceptional rise in 2017, and technical analyst Paul Day has spotted a formation on the cryptocurrency's chart that indicates further headwinds. The 50-day moving average is falling nearer to the 200-day moving average, and a severe reversal is likely if the downtrend continues.
Technical analyst Chad Shoop, CMT, has identified an ascending triangle pattern on the chart of the iShares MSCI Brazil Small-Cap exchange-traded fund, which implies continuation of an uptrend that started during the summer. A further gain of 30% is within reach, Shoop writes.
Disappointing economic data have caused the US yield curve to flatten, ending brief hope of a bond-market rally and causing consternation among market watchers, writes Ben Eisen. He quotes a research note by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: "Periods with an inverted yield curve are reliably followed by economic slowdowns and almost always by a recession."
Authorities are investigating what caused a 5-day-old Miami pedestrian bridge to collapse, leaving at least six people dead and 10 injured. The bridge had undergone a stress test before it failed, and its construction involved an accelerated construction method meant to mitigate risks to workers and disruption of traffic.
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