Amazon, Walmart Gear Up for Summer E-Commerce Throwdown

It’s summer, and Walmart and Amazon are celebrating by escalating their e-commerce competition. Amazon has announced it will hold its second annual Prime Day on July 12. A shopping day for Amazon Prime members worldwide, it is billed as the biggest global Amazon event ever. The company will offer more than 100,000 bargains, with new deals popping up at five minute intervals throughout the day.

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Business and financeFree exchange

Everything is not ok

A WEEK ago, as news of the vote in favour of Brexit sunk in, global markets tumbled. In the space of two days, the S&P 500 dropped more than 4%, while Britain’s FTSE 250 fell about 10%. But then, strikingly, equity prices reversed themselves. The S&P 500 is now higher than it was before the vote. The conventional wisdom has quickly flipped from the idea that Brexit was an immediate financial disaster to the notion that everything will be ok. Yesterday, Paul Krugman wrote that “the arguments for big short-run damage from Brexit look quite weak”. So, will everything be ok?

Everything will not be ok.

Things might or might not be ok in the long run; there are too many questions about when and how (and even whether) Brexit will actually occur. In the short run, there is plenty to worry about, and the evidence is written all over bond markets. Yields around the world were already extraordinarily low before the Brexit vote. In the days immediately after they plummeted. While equities have risen, bond yields have not….Continue reading

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Business and financeButtonwood's notebook

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world

IT HAS been easy to forget over the last week, but Britain is a relatively trivial 2.4% of the global economy. But even before the referendum, there were worries about global growth, particularly during the market wobble of January and February.

The outlook has improved since then, but the picture is still mixed. American GDP growth, having been been very weak in the first quarter, looks set for a solid 0.7% gain in the second quarter (an annualised 2.7% on the Atlanta Fed indicator). Although the latest non-farm payrolls were disappointing, that may be because the employment market is tightening. There are tentative signs of a pick-up in wages; in the last three months, private sector wage growth has been more than 3%. Two of my favourite indicators show mixed results. Railroad freight traffic is down 3.9% over the last year in the latest week, although energy played a big part in this (the decline of fracking); Continue reading

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