Earnings throughout the retail industry have been pretty dismal, but Gap (GPS) is bucking the trend. It posted a 25 percent net increase, raised its outlook for the rest of the year, and boosted its dividend payout. The company's Old Navy division led the advance.
But teen retailer Aeropostale (ARO) reported a drop in a key measure of sales, and gave a disappointing forecast for the year. It plans to close as many as 40 stores this year.
Some of the nation's biggest banks could come under pressure after Moody's said it might downgrade its debt ratings on Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and Morgan Stanley (MS). Moody's cites the uncertainty that might develop if the government reduces its support for bondholders in emergency situations.
The Wall Street Journal reports a probe into a potential bribery scandal involving Microsoft (MSFT) and foreign officials is expanding. The paper says the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into allegations of kickbacks made in Russia, China and other countries.
For the third time this summer, Apple (AAPL) has bought a small mapping company. Apple suffered a major embarrassment when its own mapping app was widely panned last year.
Pandora Media (P) is getting thumbs down from investors. The Internet radio service posted a big jump in revenue, but its loss widened from a year ago, and its earnings outlook was weaker than expected.
And famed whiskey maker Brown-Forman will spend $100 million to build a new distillery. It's the first all-new plant for the maker of Jack Daniel's since prohibition.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.
Ways to Make Money on the Side
Market Minute: Gap Gets Its Fill; Moody's Weighs Downgrades on Big Banks
PA for a day gives users the opportunity to hire a temporary personal assistant to do office work, run errands, walk pets, or do dozens of other jobs. While the website is great for harried professionals, it may be even better for workers looking to bring home a paycheck on a flexible schedule. If you're looking for a good-paying, short-term job where you can set your own schedule, why not drop them a line?
Are you good at putting together IKEA furniture? Do you have time to pick up a Craigslist item? Are you willing to go grocery shopping for someone else? If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe you should think about joining TaskRabbit, a website where you can submit bids to do odd jobs. Depending on the task -- and on the area where you live -- you can make more than $40 per job.
Can you do a good celebrity voice imitation? Are you willing to film yourself wearing a hot dog suit and singing "Happy Birthday"? Are you a good artist? On Fiverr.com, "the world's largest marketplace for small services," you can transform your cool skills into cool cash. Basically, you create a listing with the skill that you are willing to offer, set a price (usually $5 and up), and work on finding clients.
At this point, Etsy is hardly a moneymaking secret, but most people don't realize how easy it is to turn the do-it-yourself marketplace into a thriving business. As our earlier article on Fifty Shades of Grey demonstrated, the site makes it easy for an enterprising DIY-er to piggyback onto the latest pop culture trend.
If you've ever wanted the joy of hanging out with a dog, but didn't want to sign on for the long-term commitment, you might consider joining Dog Vacay. The website pairs dog owners with dog lovers who are willing to babysit them for a short term. Prices start at $15 per night, but "hosts" can set their own rates. You're also allowed to take care of up to three dogs at a time, which means that -- if you're looking for a way to make some money on the side and don't mind sharing your couch with a furry friend -- this might be a great way to get some extra bucks.