The bottom line
▪ The three richest people in the U.S.—Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett— own as much wealth as the bottom half of the U.S. population, according to the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies. The trio is worth a combined $248.5 billion, equal to the assets of the 160 million least rich Americans.
▪ Europe’s once faltering economy has experienced an impressive turnaround and is now the “engine of global trade,” the IMF says. The European economy is forecast to grow 2.4 percent this year and 2.1 percent next year.
▪ Chinese online retail giant Alibaba reported a record $25.3 billion in sales during last week’s Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza— China’s much larger version of Black Friday. The tally was more than 40 percent higher than sales on Singles’ Day 2016. Roughly 90 percent of all transactions were on mobile devices.
▪ The S&P 500 index, the broadest measure of the stock market, has notched 61 record highs and climbed more than 21 percent in the year since President Trump was elected.
▪ The World Economic Forum in Davos has announced seven co-chairs for its summit next year. For the first time, all seven will be women.