Oil prices climbed to a four year high.
The price of Brent Crude (ICE) rose past $70/barrel for the first time since December 2014 on news that Opec, the 14-member cartel of petroleum exporting countries, announced it would limit output this year. Price gains were supported by a decrease in US oil stock.
Cryptos stumble, regulators press on.
South Korea, one of the world’s largest crypto markets, announced plans to ban crypto trading on exchanges, pushing all major cryptocurrencies besides Ripple (XRP) into the red as of Thursday. The move came amidst growing anticipation regulators planned to clamp down on trading. While regulation has jarred the already-volatile market numerous times (China banned ICO’s in September, sending prices plummeting), not all regulation has been negative (Japan and Australia both recognized Bitcoin (BTC) as legal currency) and the market shows signs of resilience.
Wal-Mart boosts wages, closes stores.
The world’s largest retailer has increased its starting wage to $11/hour. The move follows news that Wal-Mart (WMT) was expected to receive billions in benefits under the new tax plan. Wal-Mart has long been criticized for underpaying its workers. The wage hike will cost Wal-Mart around $300 million. To put that in perspective, the e-commerce chief for Wal-Mart US made $244 million in 2016. In 6 hours, Walmart does $342 million in sales – $42 million more than the wage hike will cost. Wal-Mart also closed 63 of its Sam’s Club locations on the same day it announced it would increase wages. Generous? Hardly.