Money Minute: McDonald's Workers Get Paid; Will Markets Cheer Yellen - Again?

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This could be Janet Yellen day on Wall Street.

The Federal Reserve wraps up a two-day policy meeting Wednesday and Yellen will hold her first news conference as Fed Chair at 2:30 Eastern time. She's not expected to change course from the policies of her predecessor, Ben Bernanke. But investors will pay close attention to what she says and how she says it. Yellen has already sparked a pair of rallies with her testimony before congressional committees last month.

Here on Wall Street Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gained another 89 points, the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rose 53 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 13 points.

Many baby boomers have the time and the money to travel. Now, AARP, has a new travel website to help the 50-and-older crowd plan their trips. Unlike other travel sites, %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%AARP's Trip Finder will help you decide where to go by having you answer a series of five questions. Government figures show that over 50 travelers spend upwards of $120 billion a year.

More than 1,600 low-wage workers at McDonald's (MCD) restaurants in Manhattan will share in a $500,000 settlement. The New York state Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, has cut a deal with the owner of seven McDonald's franchises to compensate workers who weren't paid for all of the hours they worked. Employees in California and Michigan also filed suit recently to get back-wages.

Most of those were making minimum wage or just above it. But check this out: college interns at top paying tech companies are earning an average of $4,600 a month. Prorated for a full year, that's more than $55,000, about $2,000 above the median family income in the U.S. According to a survey by Glassdoor, the top paying company is Palantir, a software company that does work for the military and intelligence community. Also in the top 10: Twitter (TWTR), Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL).

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

17 PHOTOS
17 Tricks Stores Use to Make You Spend More Money
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Money Minute: McDonald's Workers Get Paid; Will Markets Cheer Yellen - Again?
In supermarkets, high margin departments like floral and fresh baked goods are placed near the front door, so you encounter them when your cart is empty and your spirits are high.    
Flowers and baked goods also sit near the front of stores because their appealing smell activates your salivary glands, making you more likely to purchase on impulse.

Supermarkets like to hide dairy products and other essentials on the back wall, forcing you to go through the whole store to reach them.

 

    

Once customers start walking through a store's maze of aisles, they are conditioned to walk up and down each one without deviating.

Most stores move customers from right to left. This, combined with the fact that America drives on the right, makes people more likely to purchase items on the right-hand side of the aisle.

Anything a store really wants customers to buy is placed at eye level. Particularly favored items are highlighted at the ends of aisles.
 

There's also kid eye level. This is where stores place toys, games, sugary cereal, candy, and other items a kid will see and beg his parents to buy.
Sample stations and other displays slow you down while exposing you to new products.
Stores also want items to be in easy reach. Research shows that touching items increases the chance of a purchase.

Color affects shoppers, too. People are drawn into stores by warm hues like reds, oranges, and yellows, but once inside cool colors like blues and greens encourage them to spend more.

Hear that music? Studies show that slow music makes people shop leisurely and spend more. Loud music hurries them through the store and doesn't affect sales. Classical music encourages more expensive purchases.
Store size matters, too. In crowded places, people spend less time shopping, make fewer purchases (planned and impulsive), and feel less comfortable
.
Stores not only entice you with sales, they also use limited-time offers to increase your sense of urgency in making a purchase.
The most profitable area of the store is the checkout line. Stores bank on customers succumbing to the candy and magazine racks while they wait.
Finally, there is the ubiquitous "valued shopper" card. This card gives you an occasional deal in exchange for your customer loyalty and valuable personal data.
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