Morning Money Memo…
JC Penney is turning to Hispanics to help rescue itself from years of financial problems.
After a sharp drop in sales and management upheavals, “the struggling retailer [is] ripping up its marketing playbook once again,” says AdAge.
Penney wants to be destination department store for Hispanic shoppers. Ads aimed at Hispanic women will be launched this week during the World Cup.
“Our growth depends on catering to the Latina,” Lyris Leos, director of multicultural marketing at J.C. Penney tells AdAge.
Hispanics are expected to be the largest source of growth for the retailer this year.
Gas Prices High: Good News?
Gasoline prices are higher than expected and oil rose this morning to almost $105 on wholesale markets.
The reason is actually good news. Demand for energy is up as the global economy strengthens. Recent economic indicators suggesting stronger growth include Japan raising its January-March GDP number, a fourth month of solid hiring in the U.S., and China’s export growth accelerating in May.
Low Interest Rates vs. Your Savings
Are you looking to get a good return from a really safe investment? With interest rates still far below normal it’s almost impossible to lock in savings that beat the rate of inflation and grow the value of your money.
“We found that most of the top-tier accounts are offering about 1 1/2 to 2 percent on a two-year CD,” says Casey Bond of gobankingrates.com. “In the ’80s and ’90s, CD’s were considered a great savings tool.”
Savers earned a fairly high interest rate at no risk.
“Today, you have to lock in your money and you don’t get such great interest, so the reasons for which you would open a CD are a little bit different.”
Gazing Into Dark Pools
The Securities and Exchange Commission is stepping up oversight of private stock trading exchanges known as dark pools. The Wall Street Journal says the SEC is looking into whether these trading systems are telling clients how they operate, and if they are treating all investors fairly.
New York State’s attorney general wants to know if high-speed trading firms have been getting special treatment. Critics say stock trading is rigged to give special advantages to the biggest traders at the expense of other investors.
Netflix Eases Up
Netflix announced in a blog post that it will ease up on a month-long finger-pointing campaign that blamed Verizon and other Internet service providers for problems with its video subscription service.
The decision follows a legal threat issued by Verizon last week.
Netflix is feuding with Internet providers such as Verizon and Comcast, saying they aren’t doing enough to deliver the content that their subscribers want.
Businesses Push Congress on Immigration Reform
Some of America’s leading businesses want Congress to act on immigration reform. The CEOs of McDonalds, Coca Cola, Lowes Hotels, Tyson Foods and others say congressional action on immigration is indispensable to their businesses.
It’s been nearly a year since the Senate passed a bipartisan bill with billions of dollars for border security and a path to citizenship for the millions now here illegally, but it’s stalled in the House.