Published May 08, 2012
Despite election havoc in Europe, U.S. stocks generally found the plus column yesterday. The Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 finished positive, though the Dow fell slightly for its fourth straight loss.
Trading activity yesterday was the lightest in three weeks, in keeping with the indecisive mood on Wall Street. This morning, that mood has turned decisively negative: Dow futures are pointing to a 70-point drop at the opening bell.
Today, investors digest earnings from Dow component Walt Disney (DIS) and fast-food giant Wendy’s (WEN). So far, more than 400 companies in the S&P 500 have reported earnings for the first quarter and 67.6% have reported earnings above analyst expectations.
Amazon.com (AMZN) is looking to conquer your closet as it takes on the high-end clothing market. The Web giant has sold clothing for years, but with limited success. After recently – and successfully – signing on hundreds of contemporary and high-end brands, including Michael Kors, Catherine Malandrino, and Tracy Reese, Amazon is looking to dominate fashion the way it does, well, everything else.
Until now, many brands have stayed away from the Web retailer because they said Amazon’s site often looked too commoditized. But that’s changed -- the New York Times reports that Amazon has brought in teams of models, make-up artists, and stylists as it geared up its first marketing campaign for the Amazon clothing store. Instead of static product images, for example, models spin and pose to show off the clothing.
The model’s and clothing’s measurements are provided to help with customer sizing. And shopper-friendly advice -- as seen on some rival sites, including Gap-owned Piperlime -- is prominent.
In the retail clothing world, fears are growing that few others will be able to compete with a stepped-up, luxed-up, glammed-up Amazon.com.
Toyota will make its first-ever electric RAV4 SUV available in four California cities this summer. Supply is tight and the price tag is awfully high (at $50,000), but Toyota hopes the perks -- like heated seats and a touch-screen computer -- lure the gas-savers. The Rav4 EV gets 100 miles with a 6-hour charge.
Toyota hopes to sell a modest 2,600 over the next three years. There are just a few other EVs currently on the market, including the Nissan Leaf.
And don’t worry about eating too many Girl Scout cookies -- here come the candy bars! Nestle plans to make a limited-edition Nestlé Crunch Girl Scout Candy Bar, to be sold this summer at retailers nationwide. It will not be sold door-to-door.
Nestlé will be making three candy bars based on classic Girl Scout cookies: Thin Mints, Caramel Coconut, and Peanut Butter Crème.