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Apple, Google pressured to drop Saudi app that lets men track and control women

“Even if Google and Apple remove the app from their stores, it won’t solve the problem of male guardianship” writes Victoria Rodriguez for mashable.com. Google and Apple are under pressure from human rights groups and a U.S. senator to remove from their stores an app called Absher.Still, activists believe Apple and Google could send a powerful message to the Saudi government by dropping Absher. Source: mashable.com

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PepsiCo forecast surprise drop in 2019 core profit

“FILE PHOTO – Bottles of Pepsi are pictured at a grocery store in Pasadena Thomson Reuters (Reuters) – PepsiCo Inc forecast a surprise drop in full-year profit that was well below Wall Street estimates on Friday, hit by a stronger dollar, higher tax rate and increased investments in the business” reports businessinsider.com. The company expects 2019 adjusted profit per share to drop 3 percent to $5.50, while analysts on average were expecting a 3.5 percent rise in profit to $5.86 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Source: businessinsider.com

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News Stocks 

Dow, S&P 500 end session lower on retail-sales surprise, but tech and health-care stocks end higher

“The Dow and S&P 500 finished in the red on Wednesday, but finished well off the lows in a session colored by retail-sales figures that showed the worst one-month drop in nine years” writes Mark Decambre for marketwatch.com. The Dow finished down more than 100 points, or 0.4%, to 25,439, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.27% closed off 0.3% at 2,746, on a preliminary basis, snapping a four-day rise for the broad-market benchmark.At its lows the Dow was down by as many as 235 points before recovering somewhat.It’s the…

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Markets News 

Retail sales sink 1.2% in December in the worst plunge in nine years

“Sales fell in every retail category except auto dealers and home centers” writes Jeffry Bartash for marketwatch.com. The disappointing drop in sales battered stocks in Thursday trades, but many economists were skeptical that sales were quite the disaster the report seemed to indicate.The stock market tanked in December and talk of recession briefly became all the rage, and that may have hurt sales. Source: marketwatch.com

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Economists skeptical over stunning December decline in retail sales

“The Commerce Department on Thursday said retail sales slumped 1.2% at the end of 2018, marking the biggest decline in nine years” writes Jeffry Bartash for marketwatch.com. Many economists don’t believe it. “There’s no denying retail sales are weaker, but they are not this weak,” asserted chief economist Richard Moody of Regions Financial.Moody regularly tells investors to ignore preliminary retail sales figures because they are so often heavily revised. Source: marketwatch.com

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U.S. retail sales post biggest drop in nine years in December

“In December, online and mail-order retail sales dropped 3.9 percent, the biggest drop since November 2008, after increasing 2.8 percent in November” reports businessinsider.com. December’s sharp drop in core retail sales suggested a moderation in the pace of consumer spending in the fourth quarter.The December retail sales report was delayed by a 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government that ended on Jan. 25.Data for November was revised slightly down to show retail sales edging up 0.1 percent instead of gaining 0.2 percent as previously reported.No date has been set…

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Markets News Stocks 

The drop in Treasury yields after retail sales highlights the downtrend

“The optimism in stock markets in the past month hasn’t spilled over to the Treasury market” reports forexlive.com. That isn’t really a surprise given that the dovish shift from the Fed is the driver for most of the stock market gains.Watch that downtrend resistance that as underscored again today by the drop in yields after retail sales.That could prompt another test of 2.61%, which was the low this month and a potential drop back down to the January low. Souring trade talks and more poor economic data would doom this…

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Retail sales drop the most since ’09…

“The December retail sales report was delayed by a 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government that ended on Jan. 25” reports cnbc.com. The Commerce Department said on Thursday retail sales tumbled 1.2 percent, the largest decline since September 2009 when the economy was emerging from recession.These so-called core retail sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product.U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than nine years in December as receipts fell across the board, suggesting a sharp slowdown in economic activity at…

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