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Wal-Mart increases minimum wage to $11 an hour in wake of lower US tax bill

Following the lower United States tax bill, Wal-Mart will increase its starting salary to $11 an hour, expand family benefits, and offer a $1,000 cash bonus to eligible employees.

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Need emergency cash? Payday loans aren’t your only alternative.

At a time when gig jobs or small paychecks keep many Americans on financial edge, credit unions and small banks are among those offering small loans that don’t come with sky-high fees.

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Trump’s deregulation drive is epic in scale and scope. And yet ...

The overall trend in government rulemaking remains relentlessly up – and Trump is stirring controversy by overturning environmental and consumer protections.

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Record high: Dow Jones bursts through 25000 points

The milestone came five weeks after its first close above 24000. Some analysts predict more gains considering strong global economic growth and good prospects for higher company earnings. 

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Stock market: Just how strong is it, as Dow crosses 25000?

Since the start of the bull market in 2009, the S&P 500 index is up about 300 percent, after a strong 2017. Many market strategists see a further rise in the new year, but stocks look pricey.

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Strong holiday sales buoy retail store stock prices

Mastercard reported US shoppers spent over $800 billion during the season, more than ever before. Between Nov 1 and Dec 24, holiday sales in brick-and-mortar and online retail stores rose 4.9 percent, the fastest year-on-year pace of increase since 2011.

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Lower taxes spur growth, Trump says. The historical record isn’t so simple.

President Trump’s newly signed tax-cut measure has already prompted some corporations to make wage-hike and investment promises. Yet the Reagan era and other history offers cautionary evidence on taxes and growth.

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Home prices surge 6.2 percent in a strong economy

Seattle saw the biggest annual gains as prices have shot up 12.7 percent since October 2015. 

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US lawsuit accuses Facebook ads of unfairly targeting younger workers

The Communications Workers of America filed a lawsuit against companies including Amazon, T-Mobile, and Cox Communications for using Facebook to micro-target recruiting ads toward younger workers, alleging that this is form of age discrimination.

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Uber to face new regulations as top EU court classifies it as taxi service

The European Court of Justice has ruled that Uber, which describes itself as an information services provider, is a taxi service and should be regulated as one. The ruling may hold wider ramifications for how app services like Uber are regulated in Europe.

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Tax cut arrives, and Americans ask what’s in it for them – and for country

Most Americans can expect a modest tax cut, but changes in deductions and other measures will create new winners and losers, especially in later years. 

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Bricks-and-mortar grocery stores hope to edge out Amazon with curbside pickup

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods rocked the US grocery industry and traditional stores to look for new ways to keep customers shopping. Many have turned to curbside pickup that combines the ease of online shopping and skipping lines with more flexibility with fresh foods. 

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Disney buys most of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion

In efforts to compete with other tech companies in the entertainment business, Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family's 21st Century Fox, including film and television studios, cable and international TV businesses.

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FCC poised to roll back net neutrality rules

Despite protest from consumers and corporations such as Facebook, the Federal Communications Commission is set to reverse net neutrality rules that bar internet service providers from favoring certain internet content.

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As interest rates rise, will borrower prudence, too?

Interest rates have stayed so low for so long, consumers and investors may have forgotten what happens when rates go up. The Federal Reserve's rate boost Wednesday and prospects for 2018 increases may change mind-sets. 

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Why today's bitcoin bubble recalls tulip mania and the dot.com craze

The digital currency draws throngs in South Korea and Japan, and US regulators have OK'd bitcoin futures. But the bubble could end badly for investors, with uncertain ripple effects.

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Shopping becomes a hybrid experience, as stores and smartphones intersect

Even in era of rising e-commerce, consumers still want the physical-store experience. And mobile phones have become the bridge between both worlds.

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Why tax havens persist, and where a rethink could take hold

What could be $200 billion in tax revenue instead sits in offshore centers, parked there by individuals and corporations, often legally. Some reformers would like to remedy that. One lever: new attention on the ethics and morality of the practice.

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Trump's change at Fed's helm is also a vote for continuity

If confirmed by the Senate, Federal Reserve chair nominee Jerome Powell is expected to continue the current policy of gradually raising interest rates. But in a break with tradition, he's not an economist. 

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US economy rebounds after season of hurricanes

Despite a loss of nearly 33,000 jobs due to fall storms, the Department of Labor reports solid growth in many sectors including construction, hotels, restaurants, and the auto industry, many of which took the brunt of the impact during hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 

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