Walmart: ‘Going to a very dark place’

walmart big box online


Walmart may not go the way of RadioShack (RSH) any time soon. But Goldman Sachs says that customers are abandoning the big-box pioneer in droves.

On Tuesday, the investment bank downgraded Walmart (WMT)‘s stock to ‘Neutral,’ saying that big-box stores are losing out to online retailers and stores with more focused inventories.

With $469 billion in annual sales, Walmart isn’t quite going out of business, but the retailer has seen sales slip for five straight quarters. Online shopping is clearly hurting the store, as more customers turn to Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) and other merchants for everyday items such as hardware and groceries.

E-commerce is making Walmart’s vast breadth of merchandise less appealing to shoppers. Instead, customers are looking for better deals on a more

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The 5 ‘worst’ consumer complaints

consumer complaints
Home repairs and construction gone wrong are among the country’s five worst consumer complaints.


From “grandparent scams” to fraudulent investments, schemes targeting the elderly are by far the worst.

That’s according to an annual survey of 40 local and state consumer protection agencies that were asked to single out the most common and outrageous complaints they have received over the past year.

Scammers went after the elderly in a variety of ways, whether it was a “once in a lifetime” chance to make money in Ghana’s emerging gold market or a contractor who took thousands for a deposit but never came close to completing the work.

“These con artists are very skillful at what they do and they will literally take the last dime of an older person’s savings without any qualms whatsoever,” said Susan Grant,

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Kim Kardashian’s game makes $700,000 a day

kardashian app
Hitting the hottest clubs with the virtual Kim Kardashian will make you a Hollywood A-lister in no time.


Kim Kardashian is famous for doing nothing. Now she’s got a game that’s pulling in $700,000 a day where players have to do, well, nothing.

“Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” from Glu Mobil lets you create an avatar that can work to achieve virtual A-list status. Your mission: Hob-nobbing with celebrities, going to a photo shoot and wearing expensive clothes.

The game is free to download, but players spend real money on things like virtual clothes, virtual hairstyles and energy boosts for their avatars. The more your avatar does, the faster you can move up the ranks from the E List to the A List — the objective of the game.

If sales continue at their current rate, the game will

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BofA hit with $1.3 billion mortgage penalty

countrywide fined federal judge


Thousands of bad loans made years ago by Countrywide are Bank of America’s problem now.

Bank of America (BAC) has been ordered to pay a nearly $1.3 billion penalty for mortgage fraud committed by Countrywide. The fraud happened years before BofA bought the struggling lender amid the financial crisis, saving it from collapsing under the weight of risky mortgages it had made.

The loans were made through a lending program it called the “High Speed Swim Lane.” Some inside the company called it “The Hustle.” It involved little, if any, income verification.

Countrywide then sold the mortgages to the government-backed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

A lawsuit brought by the government claimed the program was “intentionally designed to process loans at high speed and without quality checkpoints, and

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Grieving parents drowning in $200,000 student loan debt receive relief

student loan mason
Lisa Mason (left) passed away 5 years ago, and her parents got hit with her six-figure student loan debt.


Steve Mason and his wife Darnelle have been struggling to pay their daughter’s six-figure student loan debt ever since she passed away five years ago — and now they are starting to get some much needed relief.

After a CNNMoney story about the family’s situation ran Tuesday, hundreds of readers reached out to offer words of encouragement — and financial support — to the family.

So far, people have donated more than $8,000 through the Masons’ GoFundMe page.

“We’ve been totally blown away,” said Mason. “It’s so encouraging to realize there’s a lot of good people out there.”

His fund raising goal is set at $200,000, the amount he now owes

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Here’s what will drive future returns: Pimco’s Gross

Income is the interest paid on an asset, whereas capital gains are increases in the asset’s price.

Read MorePimco’s Gross has had a tough time: Friend

Gross, who predicted in May of last year that the roughly 30-year bull run in bonds had likely ended, said Wednesday that since bond yields were headed higher while global economic growth would remain low, gains in asset prices would be tough to achieve.

“So as yields have bottomed and are now expected by the markets to gradually rise, it’s down to growth, and growth is a question mark,” Gross said. He said a lack of “aggregate demand” and an overabundance of “aggregate supply,” partly as a result of over-indebted consumers, would continue to weigh on global growth rates.

Gross’ views are closely watched because his flagship Pimco Article source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101879804

Has this old dog learned new tricks?

“First of all, R.R. Donnelley has a fantastic business putting together financial statements and they are the single most trusted firm in the space,” Cramer said.

Second, Donnelley has pursued acquisitions in an attempt to better leverage cost controls. “For example, Donnelley bought Consolidated Graphics, another commercial printing firm, for $700 million in October.”

Third, R.R. Donnelley benefits from outsourcing. “Because many companies have scattered facilities all over the globe, there’s big demand for R.R. Donnelley’s packaging and labeling business, not to mention their logistics, distribution and warehousing services.”

Finally, and perhaps most important, R.R. Donnelley has taken aggressive steps to move beyond printing. “They’ve got a digital business where they transform all things publishing into e-book format,” Cramer said, and, according to their website, they also do web design, animation, and more.

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Article source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101880560