ood day for: Lowering standards, as sales in Wal-Mart stores rose by 5 percent in April while the recession battered rival retailers. One reason for Wal-Mart's good fortune: Affluent shoppers who used to avoid the giant discounter are now coming in looking for bargains. More than a quarter of Wal-Mart's sales increase came from new shoppers, most of whom had household incomes of at least $50,000. Wal-Mart's wealthier customers spend 40 percent more per visit, on average, than the typical shopper. (BusinessWeek)
Bad day for: Sugarcoating bad news, as Bob Rodriquez of FPA Capital Fund told fellow mutual-fund managers that they did a terrible job in 2008, when the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped by 38 percent but most actively-managed stock funds did even worse. "In a word, we stunk," said Rodriguez, one of the industry's best-known managers, at the Morningstar Investment Conference last week. "We managers did not deliver the goods and we must explain why." (MarketWatch)
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
Subscribe to the Week