H&M continues to struggle
H&M’s sales growth slowed in the key July and August months, hampering the Swedish retailer’s attempt to end a three-year slump in earnings. Sales growth probably slowed down to 6 percent in those two months from 12 percent in June, Berenberg analysts said, based on calculations from figures H&M reported Monday. H&M has been trying to reducing its high inventory level, which stood at $4.2 billion at the end of June. The retailer has struggled in recent years as its clothes fell out of favor with shoppers and it launched a plethora of new formats. H&M has recently slashed prices to as low as $5.99 for skinny jeans and $17.99 for a dress with a belt. — BLOOMBERG NEWS
Walmart resurrects Scoop label
Walmart Inc.’s quest to go upmarket has now taken the red state retailer to the streets of Manhattan. The company has revived the defunct Scoop label and will position it as a private fashion brand, Walmart’s online fashion chief, Denise Incandela, said in a statement Monday. Walmart’s website and some stores will carry more than 100 items including tops, shoes, and handbags priced from $15 to $65. Scoop’s cofounder Stefani Greenfield, who launched the business in 1996, is involved in the brand’s development. The move is Walmart’s latest attempt to spiff up its dowdy fashion business, which delivers higher profit margins than food and everyday staples but has never really caught fire. Scoop, which became a fashion destination during its heyday in the 2000s, could lend some much-needed pizzazz to Walmart’s aisles. — BLOOMBERG NEWS
Key site in downtown Weston up for sale
A prime acre in Weston’s downtown area is hitting the market. The First Church of Christ, Scientist, is selling its acre property at 439 Boston Post Road as it consolidates operations with other nearby Christian Science churches. Boston Realty Advisors is marketing the Weston property as a redevelopment opportunity. The area is zoned for offices or retail uses and is adjacent to a strip of shops along the downtown’s main drag. The property does include a 11,300-square-foot church building. — JON CHESTO
Netflix to stream all episodes of ‘Seinfield’ in 2021
Netflix says it will start streaming all 180 episodes of ‘‘Seinfeld’’ in 2021, gaining a hugely popular addition to its library as the battle for viewers heats up. Netflix Inc. struck the deal with Sony Pictures Television for the global streaming rights to the Emmy-winning television comedy, which aired its final episode in 1998. Terms were not released. The deal for ‘‘Seinfeld’’ comes after Netflix announced in June that it would be losing its most popular TV show, ‘‘The Office.’’ Netflix will still carry the show for more than a year, but NBC isn’t extending the license further with NBCUniversal’s streaming service launching in 2020. Netflix will face even more competition in November, when Apple and Disney launch their own streaming services within days of each other.
— ASSOCIATED PRESS
Morgan Stanley enlists robots to read hefty government reports for money managers
They’re longer than classics like Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” and modern hits like J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” but nowhere nearly as engaging. Yet each week, American state and local governments crank out hefty reports by the dozens, creating a dismal stack of soporific homework for money managers studying whether or not to buy their bonds. So Morgan Stanley, one of Wall Street’s biggest investment banks, experimented with farming out the job of reading 120,000-word bond prospectuses to robots, seeing if the results could yield a sort of CliffsNotes that may separate the signal from the noise. Strategists Michael Zezas and Mark Schmidt ran 150 official statements through a machine-learning program. They said it revealed some patterns that could help investors avoid credit-rating downgrades or defaults without reading through hundreds of pages of reports. They focused on bonds issued by local agencies that are backed by riskier projects like continuing-care retirement centers, hospitals, and speculative real estate developments. That’s where doing close research is most important because local governments almost never default on their own bonds. — BLOOMBERG NEWS
United Airlines and Expedia reach deal to continue online ticket sales
United Airlines Holdings Inc. and Expedia Group reached a deal to continue online ticket sales, ending a standoff in which the airline had threatened to withdraw from one of the Internet’s largest travel sellers. The agreement covers a multiyear period, the companies said in a statement Monday without specifying how long it would last or disclosing other terms. United, which had said it would withhold fare data from Expedia starting Sept. 30, disclosed last week that the two parties were discussing a new contract.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS
JP Morgan Chase metals traders charged with market manipulation
Two current and one former precious metals traders at JPMorgan Chase & Co. were charged with manipulating futures markets in what prosecutors described as a massive, multiyear racketeering conspiracy run out of the bank. The US Justice Department said Monday that the three men ripped off market participants and even clients as they illegally moved prices for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. One of those indicted is Michael Nowak, 45, who ran JPMorgan’s global precious metals desk. Nowak was placed on leave last month, a person familiar with the matter has said. Their actions spanned eight years and involved thousands of unlawful trading sequences, the Justice Department said. The men were indicted on multiple fraud and conspiracy charges, including racketeering.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS
Thousands of French professionals protest planned pension changes in Paris
Thousands of French professionals took to the streets of Paris Monday in the latest protest against the government’s planned pension changes. The protest saw lawyers, doctors, nurses, and others in regulated professions vent their displeasure at the proposed changes that President Emmanuel Macron’s government says will simplify France’s convoluted pensions system. The government has promised the legal retirement age of 62 won’t change, but new conditions may encourage people to work longer. A large majority of those protesting Monday were lawyers as the National Bar Council, which initiated the demonstration, claims the proposed changes will double the taxes its members will pay. Wearing their black robes, they marched in Paris’ central streets singing ‘‘no, no, no to the Macron reform,’’ some brandishing posters writing ‘‘no to the pension tax.’’ There’s growing opposition to the government’s proposals, which will see 42 different retirement systems linked to certain jobs, replaced by new arrangements that will mean those becoming of pensionable age operate under the same rules. On Friday, Paris endured the biggest disruption to its public transport since 2007 as unions went on strike. — ASSOCIATED PRESS