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Editorial Results (free)

1. Memphis Economic Indicator Finds Optimism -

The latest Memphis Economic Indicator, a quarterly survey measuring general business sentiment produced jointly by The Daily News and Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, found a downward trend in sentiment measured by almost all of the survey’s six standard questions.

2. Fred's to Close 60 Stores -

Memphis-based general merchandise retailer Fred's has decided to close 60 of its stores that don't have a pharmacy and that don't meet performance targets, as the chain continues to place more emphasis on its pharmacy offerings.

3. Memphis Economic Indicator Shows Business Optimism -

The results of the second Memphis Economic Indicator, a new survey measuring general business sentiment jointly produced by The Daily News and Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, reflect a modest overall improvement in optimism among business leaders compared to last quarter’s survey results.

4. Retailers Report Modest Gains for May -

NEW YORK (AP) – In the latest sign that Americans are feeling better about the overall economy, stores across the country had a pickup in sales in May.

An improving job picture, better housing market and stock market rallies have all led to consumer confidence reaching five-year highs. That has left Americans a bit more likely to reach into their pockets and spend, as monthly revenue reports released by national retailers on Thursday show.

5. Medical Metrics -

A provision of the Affordable Care Act that ties patient satisfaction to reimbursement has been a boon for medical device maker Christie Medical Holdings Inc.

6. Retailers Report Slowing Sales Gains for February -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans cut back on spending in February as cold weather and economic challenges chilled their appetite for spring merchandise.

The nation's retailers on Thursday reported that sales slowed in February, a time when most stores get rid of winter merchandise and bring in swimsuits, ankle length pants and other spring fashions.

7. Downtown Rising -

Despite a faltering economy, many of America’s downtowns are in the midst of a revival, according to a September U.S. Census study, and Memphis is no exception.

The study, “Patterns of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Population Change: 2000 to 2010,” shows that in many of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, downtown populations grew at double-digit rates over the last decade, primarily due to the availability of new housing and services. And after previous decades of decline, the residential population in Downtown Memphis increased as well, growing by 7 percent to reach approximately 22,000 residents in 2010, according to the latest metrics compiled by the Downtown Memphis Commission.

8. Retailers Report Slower Sales Growth in September -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans may have slowed their spending in September after splurging during the start of the busy back-to-school shopping season in the month before. But most importantly, they were still spending.

9. Clearances, Heat Lured Shoppers to Spend in July -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans shoppers proved resilient in July, driving a key sales figure up at retailers across the country, despite persistent worry about jobs and the global economy.

Results came in better than expected for many retailers, helped by hot weather and summer clearance sales, an encouraging sign as the back-to-school season, the second-biggest shopping season behind the holidays, kicks off.

10. Strong Retail Sales are Sign of Improving Economy -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans stepped up their spending in February, boosting sales at many stores and offering the latest sign that shoppers are feeling more confident in the economy.

As merchants reported their monthly sales figures Thursday, a diverse group including Target and Macy's reported sales gains that exceeded Wall Street estimates. Even Gap Inc., long mired in a sales slump, posted an unexpected increase.

11. Business Licenses Rise Slightly in 2011 -

The Shelby County Clerk’s Office issued 5,751 business licenses in 2011, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com. It’s about a 5 percent increase from 2010, when 5,489 were filed in the county.

12. Retailers Report Solid Sales Gains in October -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans were shopping in October, but they were spending at a slower clip than expected as they faced a barrage of bad economic news.

October revenue at stores open at least a year – an indicator of a retailer's health – rose 3.7 percent, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers' tally of 25 retailers. But 13 of 19 retailers missed Wall Street estimates for October revenue, according to Thomson Reuters. That included big merchants like Macy's, Saks and Target.

13. Pinched by Gas, Shoppers Pull Back Elsewhere -

NEW YORK (AP) – Shoppers are showing signs of pulling back on spending on discretionary items like clothing and home goods as gasoline and groceries eat up more of their paychecks.

Those pressures led many retailers on Thursday to report only modest revenue increases in May, the latest sign of the economy hitting a soft patch.

14. Magna Bank Positions for Solid 2011 Despite ’10 Loss -

Memphis’ third-largest locally based financial institution closed the books on 2010 by reporting a loss but also touting investments made across the board in the bank as well as hinting at an expansion of its branch network.

15. Retail Rebound? -

Retail sales are looking bright this year, a sign that the pendulum of consumer confidence is swinging back in the right direction.

Holiday sales are anticipated to increase a modest 3.3 percent this year – adjusted from 2.3 percent in November – according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). This year’s uptick follows 2008’s 3.9 percent decline and also tops the 10-year average holiday sales increase of 2.5 percent.

16. October Sales Offer Relief to Merchants -

NEW YORK (AP) – Consumers, enticed by cooler weather and an improving economy, spent a little more in October, handing the retail industry its second consecutive monthly sales gain after more than a year of declines.

17. Buffett’s Berkshire Buying Burlington Northern -

NEW YORK (AP) – Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Tuesday agreed to buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., making a $34 billion bet on the future of the U.S. economy.

18. Retailers See Sales Begin to Recover in September -

NEW YORK (AP) - The nation's stores saw their first sales gain in 14 months in September, a sign of life from shoppers that fuels some hope for the holiday shopping season.

A late Labor Day and delayed school openings helped boost back-to-school sales in September. And stores' figures are looking better as they are compared last September when spending plummeted amid the ballooning financial meltdown.

19. Retailers Report Sales Declines For August -

NEW YORK (AP) – Retailers on Thursday posted sales declines for August as shoppers held back on back-to-school purchases and continued to focus on necessities, but overall results came in ahead of analyst predictions.

20. Weak Retail Report Cards Likely, Analysts Say -

NEW YORK (AP) - It may be the beginning of the year for students, but for retailers, it's report-card time. Analysts expect the early grades on the back-to-school selling season to be weak when retailers report August results Thursday.

21. Sluggish July Sales Show Tight-Fisted Consumers -

NEW YORK (AP) – Shoppers, worried about job security and finding fewer options among the sales bins, remained tight-fisted in July, resulting in sluggish sales for many merchants and raising concern about the back-to-school shopping season’s health.

22. Wal-Mart to Create Eco-Ratings for Products -

NEW YORK (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, plans to demand that all its suppliers measure the environmental cost of making their products so Wal-Mart can calculate and post an eco-rating for each item.

23. US Shoppers Stay Cautious, But Sales Declines Ease -

NEW YORK (AP) - March same-store sales fell for the sixth straight month, as U.S. consumers continued to shop cautiously and stick mostly to necessities such as food, but there were some glimmers of stabilization in retailers' reports on Thursday.

24. Congress Urged to Boost Investor Confidence Before Housing Slump Fallout Goes Commercial -

WASHINGTON (AP) - To insulate commercial real estate from a still-crumbling housing market, investors need a confidence boost and Congress should help give it, industry analysts and executives told lawmakers Thursday.