Walmart To Cut 7,000 Back Office Jobs, Plus How Politics Affect Your Friend-Group
“As I’m here in Africa, I’m deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite” — Mark Zuckerberg, in response to a SpaceX rocket exploding on a Florida launchpad, destroying a satellite that Facebook was planning on using to provide internet access to various parts of Africa…whoops?
- U.S. markets finished lower yesterday ahead of today’s jobs report after weak manufacturing data left investors on edge
- Casino stocks rallied heavily yesterday after Macau (the only location in China where gambling is legal) posted its first year-over-year growth in a whopping two years
Slasher Flick ft. Walmart
…The retailer announced it would be cutting 7,000 back office jobs yesterday. It’s quite the bold statement by Walmart as it continues to take steps towards a more efficient business model. Most of these soon-to-be-cut jobs were held by long-term employees in the accounting and invoice departments, which are actually some of the most coveted positions in the company. Where’s this plan going? Well, Walmart wants all employees in its stores to be customer-facing, not in the back, while the office tasks will eventually be housed in a centralized location.
Lulu Loses Its Grip
…And investors weren’t happy. Although Wall Street was fairly bullish about yoga fitness powerhouse Lululemon leading up to its earnings yesterday, investors jumped ship after hours once the report was released—to the tune of a nearly 9% drop. Why? Revenue growth fell almost $1 million short, even though earnings came in as expected. The Vancouver-based company is seeking to clear out old inventory while investing in a sleeker product line and store experience that can go toe to toe with wholesale competitors, like Nike and Under Armour. Out with the old and in with the new, or a paper tiger?
Amazon Cuts Ties
…On its student loan partnership with Wells Fargo. What was the deal here? All student Amazon Prime users would get a 0.5% interest rate discount on student loans offered by Wells Fargo. To clarify, Amazon itself wasn’t getting into the student loan business (hey, they can’t do it all). Nonetheless, the goal was to boost the number of student Amazon Prime members and student loan applicants at Wells Fargo (much needed in an increasingly competitive loan market). So a win-win for both companies, right? It seemed like it, but the exact reason for the partnership termination hasn’t been revealed. Not all relationships are meant to be, apparently.
Running on Empty
…U.S. auto sales dipped in August. The unexpected decline has fueled worries (pun partially intended) that the auto industry may have peaked following a strong run since the financial crisis. After cruising in July, GM and Ford reported declining sales, while Fiat Chrysler surprisingly bucked the trend and reported sales growth. Consumer demand for cars is still solid, so what’s the deal? Some analysts believe that carmakers’ decision to reduce discounts and incentives to customers in August is partly to blame. In the meantime, the auto industry is praying for a successful Labor Day weekend.
- Bill Nye lands a Netflix show
- Georgetown to give slave descendants priority for admission
- Apple to remove abandoned apps from App Store
- Samsung will reportedly issue worldwide recall of Galaxy Note 7
- Monday: Personal Income and Outlays (+/-)
- Tuesday: H&R Block (-), Abercrombie & Fitch (-) Earnings; Consumer Confidence (+); S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index (+)
- Wednesday: Salesforce (-), Box (+/-) Earnings; Private Employment Report (+); Pending Home Sales Index (+/-)
- Thursday: Broadcom (+/-), Campbell Soup (-), Lululemon (-), Smith & Wesson (+/-) Earnings; August Auto Sales (-); Weekly Jobless Claims (+/-); ISM Manufacturing Index (-); Construction Spending (+/-); Productivity Growth (-)
- Friday: August Jobs Report; International Trade; Factory Orders
LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE
Have you ever been asked about the race distribution of your friend group? What about how many of your closest friends didn’t graduate from college? Apparently, Americans typically organize themselves geographically by political party or ideology, resulting in like-minded individuals living close to one another. Let’s take a closer look:
- In a poll involving over 2,000 registered voters, 29% of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree claimed that all five of their closest friends also have at least a four-year college degree. Meanwhile, 31% of adults who never attended or graduated college said that none of their closest friends possess a four-year college degree.
- Less educated people seem to be less insular. 10% of the individuals without a college degree said that their five closest friends also didn’t attend college.
- When asked about political party, liberals appear to be just as exclusive in their friendships as conservatives. 34% of liberals say that four or five of their best friends have college degrees, while 30% of conservatives say the same.
- The main takeaway: Americans who spend time with one another share similar views. Didn’t see that one coming!
INTERVIEW QUESTION OF THE DAY
Where did the terms “bull market” and “bear market” get their names? (Answer)
BUSINESS TERM OF THE DAY
Pigou Effect — A term in economics referring to the relationship between consumption, wealth, employment and output during periods of inflation. The Pigou effect states that when there is deflation of prices, employment will be increased due to an increase in wealth.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
If you thought you had a bad day, at least you weren’t the two five-year-old boys who JetBlue mixed up and flew to the wrong cities. Don’t worry, the kids ended up safely where they needed to be. And we here at the Brew thought we’d seen it all.