Must-Read Money Stories for Friday, Nov. 18

by November 18, 2016
"Wal-Mart lured more shoppers during the quarter, but profits fell as the retailer invested heavily to compete with Amazon." ("Wal-Mart" Photo courtesy of Flickr user Mike Mozart).

“Wal-Mart lured more shoppers during the quarter, but profits fell as the retailer invested heavily to compete with Amazon.” (“Wal-Mart” photo courtesy of Flickr user Mike Mozart).

JPMorgan Chase settles bribery case for $264 million

JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $264 million to settle accusations that the bank hired the children of Chinese leaders to win business in China, federal prosecutors and regulators said in a statement on Thursday. The New York Times reported the hiring practices of the bank and its Hong Kong subsidiary violated United States law governing foreign bribery. The bank had argued that hiring well-connected employees was routine practice in China. Regulators didn’t agree, and also are investigating the hiring practices of other large banks, the New York Times reported.

Fed Chair Yellen says Fed could hike rates soon

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen said the recent presidential election has done nothing to alter the central bank’s plans to raise interest rates “relatively soon,” according to Reuters. Yellen said the Fed would change its outlook if the new Trump administration dramatically lowers taxes and government spending. She sounded a cautionary note on President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to “turn back the clock” on the Dodd-Frank financial regulations approved in the wake of the financial meltdown. Yellen told Congress economic data justified a rate hike “relatively soon.”

Wal-Mart sales climb, though profit slumps

U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. continues to trail Amazon.com in its quest to revamp its online operations. Wal-Mart lured more shoppers during the quarter, but profits fell as the retailer invested heavily to compete with Amazon, The Wall Street Journal reported. Same-store sales climbed 1.2 percent for the quarter, the ninth straight increase, according to The Wall Street Journal. Company executives also said the strong dollar trimmed the retailer’s overseas revenue.

Marijuana industry readies for post-election gains

The Economist reported the U.S. cannabis industry is celebrating following the November 8th election results. Four states, including California, voted to approve recreational marijuana use, while another four states approved medical marijuana. Industry leaders met this week in Las Vegas to discuss growth opportunities. Last year, legal sales of pot climbed to $6 billion, according to the Arcview Group, an investment and market-research firm. Despite the growth of legal recreational cannabis use, federal laws banning the drug prohibit large-scale investment from banks and private equity firms.