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March Retail Sales Fall More than Expected: Hot Trends

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include retail after data from the Commerce Department Friday showed a bigger-than-expected drop in retail sales for March.

Retail sales in March fell 0.4%, the biggest drop in nine months. Some economists called for retail sales to be unchanged from a 1% increase in February.

Retailers who experienced poor ssales included general merchandise stores like department stores with a 1.2% decrease, and electronics stores, which had a 1.6% drop. Automobile and parts dealers experienced a 0.6% drop, compared to a 1.3% increase in February.

The drop in retail sales comes as employment has slowed as well. On April 5, a report by the Labor Department showed that payrolls grew by 88,000 last month, the smallest increase since last June.






Starbucks (SBUX) is trending after announcing it will cut the prices of its bagged coffee sold in grocery stores.

The chain said it's making the cuts to stay competitive following price reductions by rivals like Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN), Folgers and Maxwell House.

Beginning May 10, Starbucks will reduce the suggested retail price on 12-ounce packages of Starbucks coffee to $8.99 from $9.99 and Seattle's Best to $6.99 from $7.99. The price cut will only affect packaged coffee sold in retailers outside of its own shops.






LinkedIn (LNKD) is another popular search. The networking Web site is acquiring mobile e-reader platform Pulse for about $90 million.

The company is paying about 90% in stock and 10% in cash for the application.

Pulse was founded by two Stanford University students in 2010. It focuses on aggregating news and information on mobile phones and is used by more than 30 million people worldwide on devices running Apple (AAPL) iOS and Android operating systems.

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