Markets had another strong day of trading Tuesday as markets seemed less fearful of a potential trade war with China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.8%, or 429 points on the day, while the Nasdaq jumped 2.07%, or 145 points to 7,094, and the S&P 500 rose 1.67%, or 44 points to 2,657.
Walmart Teams With Postmates to Expand Grocery Delivery Service
Walmart's (WMT) plan to expand its grocery delivery service to 800 stores by the year's end is taking shape after the company announced that it is partnering with online food delivery service Postmates.
Walmart's expansion plan will place it in a position to be able to deliver to 40% of U.S. households.
Walmart's delivery service has a $9.95 monthly fee and requires a minimum order of $30.
Inflation Pressures Mount as Producer Price Index Rises Further Than Expected
The U.S. producer price index rose 0.3% in March, ahead of economists' consensus estimates of a 0.1% increase in what could be the latest sign that inflationary pressures are rising in the economy.
A sharp increase in food prices and continued price growth in the services sector were the main culprits for the larger than expected increase.
Inflationary pressure could force the Federal Reserve to accelerate its interest rate hike schedule. The Fed has already raised rates once this year, with consensus estimates for at least two more rate increases this year.
2017 Was the Costliest Year Ever for Natural Disaster Insurers
A devastating hurricane season in 2017 led to the largest insured losses in history, according to data released by Swiss Re.
Natural disaster losses totaled $144 billion last year, with $92 billion of that amount tied to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Those three storms caused insurer losses equal to about 0.5% of the U.S. GDP.
"After 12 years of no major hurricane making US landfall, 2017 is likely to go down as one of the most expensive North Atlantic hurricane seasons in history, in terms of both economic and insured losses," said Martin Bertogg, Swiss Re's head of catastrophe perils, according to Insurance Times.
Kroger to Hire 11,000 Employees
Following up on a year where the company created 10,000 new jobs, grocery chain Kroger (KR) announced that it will create another 11,000 jobs this year, including nearly 2,000 management positions.
"Over the last decade, Kroger has added 100,000 new jobs in communities across America," said Tim Massa, Kroger's group vice president of human resources and labor relations. "In addition to fueling the U.S. economy, many of our supermarket jobs are an opportunity for associates to grow and advance their careers."
Kroger shares were up slightly Tuesday morning.
VW Could Replace CEO Mueller as Soon as Friday
Volkswagen's (VLKAY) advisory board is expected to vote to oust troubled CEO Matthias Muller on Friday, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
Muller's two and a half year tenure has been rocky since it was revealed that the company was using technology to cheat diesel emissions tests before he took the job.
Muller was previously head of the company's luxury sports car division Porsche.
Muller's candidness when speaking to the media may have been his downfall. There were reports that Volkswagen's controlling families weren't happy with comments he made about selling the Ducati motorcycle brand or his insistence that 10% of the company's annual revenue came from businesses it no longer considered core.
Ant Financial to Raise Unprecedented $9 Billion in Private Funding Round
Ant Financial, the fin-tech company headed by Alibaba (BABA) CEO Jack Ma, is about to raise $9 billion in its latest private funding round, sources to the Wall Street Journal.
This latest funding round could value the company at close to $150 billion, making it the world's largest private company by far.
An IPO for Ant Financial could occur as early as this year. The Chinese company is expected to list both on domestic and international exchanges.
Dallas Fed Prez Sees 2 More Rate Hikes This Year
The Federal Reserve will raise rates two more times this year, according to Federal Reserve of Dallas President Robert Kaplan, but the rate of increases will flatten as growth slows.
"2018 will be a relatively solid year for GDP growth. In  and 2020 I think you'll see growth moderating and so for me the path of rate increases is likely a little bit flatter," Kaplan told Bloomberg TV in an interview from Beijing.
Kaplan expressed concern that the spread between short-term and long-term government debt, known as the yield curve, was shrinking.
"I, for one, am going to be watching this yield curve very carefully," he said. "I do not want to knowingly tighten into a flat or inverted yield curve."
Atlanta Is Once Again the World's Air Travel Champ
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was the world's busiest air travel hub in 2017 for the 20th consecutive year, according to data released by the Airports Council International.
Beijing Capital was the second busiest and Dubai's airport was third. Rounding out the top five were Tokyo Haneda and Los Angeles. JFK Airport in New York fell out of the top 20 after ranking 16th last year.
Atlanta processed 101.5 million passengers, topping the 100 million mark for the third consecutive year.
Oregon Becomes Second Net Neutrality State
Oregon could be headed to a legal showdown with internet service providers after Governor Kate Brown signed a net neutrality bill into law, restricting state agencies from purchasing fixed or mobile internet service from ISPs that violate net neutrality rules.
The FCC recently abolished the Obama-era rules governing the way ISPs allot bandwidth. Under the former law, ISPs weren't allowed to "throttle" data or provide "fast lanes" for premium users.
Washington state was the first to sign a net neutrality law. There, all ISPs, whether they do business with the government or not, are required to abide by net neutrality rules.
Mark Zuckerberg Heads to Washington to Answer Questions
Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in Washington D.C. for the next two days to answer questions about his company's role in American democracy in the wake of the news that a political consultancy group illegally accessed data from 87 million Facebook users.
Zuckerberg released his prepared statement Monday, saying that he had made a "huge mistake" by not taking the threat his social network could potentially pose to democracy seriously.
Facebook shares have recovered since the news first broke and the stock lost more than 10% of its value. Facebook was up 0.9% premarket after rising 0.46% in the previous session.
U.S. futures were indicating another strong open for markets Tuesday as investors received signs of reassurance that burgeoning trade tensions with China were abating.
Dow futures were up 1.1%, indicating an open 261 points higher, while S&P futures rose 1.05%, indicating an open 28 points higher, and Nasdaq futures rose 1.4%, indicating an open 91 points higher.
Major markets around the world were also showing signs of life thanks to cooling tensions. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite led the way higher, climbing 1.66%, while the Hang Seng rose 1.65% and the Nikkei gained 0.54%.
In Europe, the DAX was leading the way, up 0.91%, while the CAC 40 was gaining 0.54% and the FTSE 100 rose 0.6% with about four hours left in trading.