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Editorial Results (free)

1. Amazon Hires 80,000 Seasonal Holiday Workers -

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon is hiring 80,000 seasonal workers for its distribution centers as it looks to improve its shipping efficiency during the crucial holiday season.

The figure is a 14 percent increase over last year's hiring of 70,000 workers, as Amazon has been opening more distribution centers.

2. Microsoft Cutting 18,000 Jobs, Signals New Path -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its history Thursday, saying it will cut 18,000 jobs as it streamlines its Nokia mobile device business to focus on using the Windows Phone operating system.

3. Amazon Launches Music Streaming for Prime Members -

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Amazon's newly announced music streaming service is yet another attempt by the company to move beyond e-commerce and infuse itself into the daily lives of Americans with an increasing number of offerings –including grocery delivery and streaming TV.

4. Consumer Spending Likely to Boost Growth in 2014 -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hopes are rising that consumers will drive stronger growth in 2014 after they stepped up spending at the end of last year in the United States and Europe.

The outlook for spending is brightening even though growth is weakening in some large emerging economies and slowing the sales of consumer product giants such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble.

5. Holiday Shopping Season: A Disappointment So Far -

NEW YORK (AP) – Sparse crowds at malls and "50 percent off" signs at The Gap, AnnTaylor and other stores give a clue as to how the holiday season is going.

This is shaping up to be the most discount-driven holiday season since the country was in a deep recession. It's also one of the most disappointing for stores.

6. Wal-Mart CEO Says Co. Committed to Compliance -

FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. (AP) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. CEO Mike Duke said Friday that the retailer is committed to integrity in the wake of recent bribery allegations in Mexico.

Duke joined other executives including chairman Robson Walton, the son of founder Sam Walton, at the company's annual meeting on Friday in pledging that Wal-Mart will get to the bottom of the allegations.

7. Will Shoppers' Increased Spending in May Last? -

NEW YORK (AP) – Americans loosened their purse strings in May, but it may have been a temporary splurge.

Some major retailers such as Target and Macy's on Thursday posted sales increases that beat Wall Street estimates as shoppers were lured in by Mother's Day promotions and colorful new styles of clothing. The gains follow a dismal showing from the month before

8. B&N, Microsoft Team Up on Nook, College Businesses -

NEW YORK (AP) – Books and bits united Monday as Microsoft provided an infusion of money to help Barnes & Noble compete with top electronic bookseller Amazon. In exchange, Microsoft gets a long-desired foothold in the business of e-books and college textbooks.

9. Govt Loses About $49M on Sale of Small-Bank Stocks -

WASHINGTON (AP) – The government has lost roughly $50 million on its sale of stock in six small banks bailed out in the 2008 financial crisis. But the Treasury Department says the three-year investment was profitable after counting dividends and investments.

10. Bargain Hunters Divided Shopping Season Into 2 -

NEW YORK (AP) – The holiday shopping season turned out to be two seasons: the Black Friday binge and a last-minute surge.

Together, they added up to decent sales gains for retailers. And the doldrums in between showed how shoppers have learned to wait for the discounts they know will come.

11. FarmVille Creator Hopes to Raise About $1B in IPO -

NEW YORK (AP) – Hoping to harvest some fresh cash, the online game company behind "FarmVille" said Friday that it plans to raise $1 billion in an initial public offering of up to 100 million shares.

12. TVs are Hot Sellers This Holiday Season -

NEW YORK (AP) – In an unexpected twist, TVs are topping many Christmas shopping lists this year.

Wal-Mart says TVs are among the top gifts people are putting on layaway at its 3,000-plus U.S. stores during the holiday season. The Westinghouse 46-inch LCD HDTV that was on sale for half off at Target for $298 was a top seller during the start to the season last weekend. And Abt Electronics already has sold out of 55-inch Samsung LED TVs that were marked down by half to $1,099.

13. Casada Weighs In on Anti-Bias Legislation -

Editor’s Note: This is an occasional series that profiles Tennessee’s state legislators. Credit his friends – and the inspiration of Ronald Reagan – with starting state Rep. Glen Casada on the road to public service.

14. Retailers Bank on Kindle Fire for Holidays -

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon's Kindle Fire is a Catch-22 for retailers: The $199 tablet computer could both help Christmas traffic and hurt future sales.

Retailers hope the Kindle Fire's low price tag – which is less than half that of Apple's cheapest iPad tablet – will attract shoppers to stores during the busy holiday season. But the device, which offers free shipping and other incentives for customers to shop at Amazon, ultimately could drive sales to their online nemesis.

15. Wal-Mart CEO Pushes Plan to Keep Retailer Growing -

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. unveiled a $15 billion share buyback program Friday as it hammered home its message to shareholders at its annual meeting that the world's largest retailer will keep growing.

16. Consumer Confidence Rises Slightly in October -

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans’ confidence in the economy stayed stuck in gloomy territory in October, with Wall Street’s gains in recent months not boosting spirits much.

Coaxing shoppers out of their shells will be the major challenge for retailers heading into the holiday season. That could mean they’ll be continuing to push big discounts.

17. States' Probe of Foreclosures Could Force Reforms -

WASHINGTON (AP) – A joint investigation by every state and the District of Columbia could force mortgage companies to settle allegations that they used flawed documents to foreclose on hundreds of thousands of homeowners.

18. Shoppers May Have the Upper Hand This Christmas -

NEW YORK (AP) – The Christmas shopping season doesn't kick off for another six weeks, but retailers already are signaling they're prepared to discount aggressively if needed to entice shoppers still skittish about spending.

19. Cold Smoothies, Hot July Spike McDonald's Sales -

CHICAGO (AP) – McDonald's lesson from July: If you want to start selling cold, fruity drinks, pick one of the hottest months in U.S. history.

The fast-food giant posted its biggest monthly increase in more than a year in an important U.S. sales figure as U.S. as the fast-food chain's new fruit smoothies and ice-cold frappes got a warm reception from customers.

20. Kohl's Q1 Net Income Rises on Higher Revenue -

NEW YORK (AP) — Department store operator Kohl's Corp.'s first-quarter net income rose 45 percent as shoppers spent more at its stores, particularly for shoes and home goods. But the company's CEO said that consumers' buying remains below what it was before the Great Recession.

21. Consumer Confidence Grows as Economy Strengthens -

NEW YORK (AP) — Key pillars of the U.S. economy are getting stronger.

The best consumer confidence reading since September 2008's financial meltdown and bullish earnings reports this week from companies ranging from Whirlpool to UPS show increasing demand and a rebound gathering steam. Americans are even feeling a bit better about the job market.

22. Holiday Stragglers Find Shortages of Hot Items -

NEW YORK (AP) - Looking for UGG boots? Or what about the last string of holiday lights or inflatable Santas to spruce up the lawn? You might be out of luck.

Some last-minute holiday shoppers are facing disappointment. Stores are running out of key holiday items – and not just Zhu Zhu pets, those robotic hamsters that have been hard to find since before Thanksgiving.

23. Alabama Casinos Go Upscale to Rival Mississippi -

SHORTER, Ala. (AP) - Alabama casinos are making a $500 million bet that luxury hotels, celebrity restaurants and big-name entertainment will give southbound tourists an alternative to Mississippi's Gulf Coast gambling destinations.

24. New Jobless Claims Dip Less Than Expected to 570K -

WASHINGTON (AP) – New jobless claims fell slightly last week while the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits rose, a sign the job market’s recovery will be long and bumpy.

While most economists believe the recession has ended, they predict the jobless rate will keep rising until at least next summer as the country struggles to mount a sustained recovery. The worry is that household incomes will remain depressed and consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the total economy, will continue to lag.

25. Retailers' Results Top Estimates; Wariness Remains -

NEW YORK (AP) - Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. on Tuesday posted lower profits that still topped Wall Street expectations, but economic worries are likely to keep shoppers tight-fisted in the months ahead, executives predicted.

26. Kellogg Profit Rises 13 Percent in Q2 -

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Kellogg Co. helped raise the mood on Wall Street Thursday, reporting second-quarter profits that beat expectations and saying it expects full year results at the high end of its goal.

27. Citigroup Sells Stake in Japanese Asset Manager -

NEW YORK (AP) - Citigroup Inc. said Thursday it is selling its entire majority stake in a Japanese asset management company to The Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co Ltd. for about $795 million.

The bank is selling its 64 percent stake in Nikko Asset Management for 75.6 billion yen as part of its ongoing plan to reduce its holdings in Japan, and amid an overhaul of its worldwide operations.

28. Circuit City Ripples Go Beyond Vacancies, Layoffs -

Circuit City will finally flicker out when its last 567 stores close this year, but the bankruptcy of the nation's second-largest electronics retailer will ripple across the U.S. economy for years.