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More store closings coming: Pier 1 Imports could close up to 145 more stores

Pier I Imports to close 146 stores

Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports could close as many  145 more stores in the fiscal year, the Texas-based home goods retailer said Wednesday when it reported financial results.

The news comes a week after Bed Bath & Beyond said 40 locations could be shuttered this year.

“As anticipated, our fourth-quarter sales and profitability were disappointing and reflect the execution issues we identified earlier in the year and have been working with urgency to correct," said Cheryl Bachelder, interim Pier 1 CEO, in a statement.

After closing 30 stores in its fiscal year that ended in March, there were 973 stores in the chain, which sells furniture, home decor and other accessories.

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Bed Bath & Beyond plans to close at least 40 stores this year but open 15 new locations

bed Bath & Beyond to close 40 storesBed Bath & Beyond will be closing and opening stores this year.

The New Jersey-based home goods retailer, which also operates Buy Buy Baby, Harmon Face Values and World Market, announced mixed results during its fourth-quarter call with financial analysts this week.

"We expect to open approximately 15 new stores in fiscal 2019. This will be offset by a minimum of approximately 40 stores we expect to close," Robyn D'Elia, chief financial officer and treasurer, said during Wednesday's earnings call. "This number will grow unless we are able to negotiate more favorable lease terms with our landlords."

D'Elia said most of the "planned closures are for Bed Bath & Beyond stores."

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Experts: China tariffs have sacked U.S. income by $1.4B a month

China tariffs cosg US billions U.S. tariffs on China are having a tremendous impact on Americans' income -- to the tune of more than $1 billion every month, the Federal Reserve of New York and researchers said in a new fiscal analysis.

The price of goods and products saw "substantial increases" because imports include a "complete passthrough" of tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, according to research from the New York Fed, Princeton University and Columbia University. The research also said domestic products had less competition from imports, which raised prices.

By the end of November, U.S. income was reduced by a rate of $1.4 billion per month, the study said. The economists -- Mary Amiti of the New York Fed, Princeton professor Stephen Redding and Columbia professor David Weinstein -- said a lack of import variety and supply disruptions were significant factors.

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Federal deficit soars 32 percent to $895B

ocbThe federal deficit hit $895 billion in the first 11 months of fiscal 2018, an increase of $222 billion, or 32 percent, over the same period the previous year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The nonpartisan CBO reported that the central drivers of the increasing deficit were the Republican tax law and the bipartisan agreement to increase spending. As a result, revenue only rose 1 percent, failing to keep up with a 7 percent surge in spending, it added.

Revenue from individual and payroll taxes was up some $105 billion, or 4 percent, while corporate taxes fell $71 billion, or 30 percent.

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President Trump's early jobs tweet leads to criticism from Obama officials

Bureau of Labor StatisticsPresident Trump seemed excited about the release of Friday morning's job report.

"Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning," he tweeted.

The problem: The president's tweet came before the release of the report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which breaks protocol about not commenting on the report before its public release. Trump's tweet hinted a positive report, providing a signal to markets.

Presidents typically get to see the numbers the day before, per a longstanding tradition. Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, confirmed that he told the president about the numbers on Thursday night aboard Air Force One.

TVNL Comment: Trump broke the law with this move.  In the very least, he did his usual dumb thing: whatever he wants without consulting anyone.  For the duration of his presidency, Trump should not receive the numbers before the are made public.

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China's Xi renews vow to open economy, cut tariffs as U.S. trade row deepens

China's Xi vows to open eonomy, cut tariffsChinese President Xi Jinping promised on Tuesday to open the country’s economy further and lower import tariffs on products like cars, in a speech seen as an attempt to defuse an escalating trade dispute with the United States.

While much of his pledges were reiterations of previously announced reforms that foreign businesses say are long overdue, Xi’s comments sent stock markets and the U.S. dollar higher on hopes of a compromise that could avert a trade war.

Xi said China will widen market access for foreign investors, addressing a chief complaint of its trading partners and a point of contention for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which has threatened billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods.

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World’s Wealthiest Billionaires Got Nearly $1 Trillion Richer In 2017: Bloomberg

money goes to moneyThe rich aren’t just getting richer — they’re getting much, much richer.

Citing its Billionaires Index, Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the world’s 500 wealthiest people became almost $1 trillion richer ― that’s $1,000,000,000,000 ― in 2017, thanks largely to booming stock markets. For comparison, that’s over four times as much wealth as they gained last year.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, saw the biggest gain in wealth in 2017. He added $34.2 billion to his net worth, which now totals $100 billion.

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