Fascinating what you can learn on a red carpet: The National Retail Federation (NRF) always puts on a great series of side events each year tied to their annual NYC trade show in January. This year, they really cranked it up to 10th gear from 9th gear. Walmart (WMT) - Get Report CEO Doug McMillon gave a fireside chat Sunday ahead of an evening dinner where he accepted an innovator award. McMillon deserves it. I had a few minutes to chat with McMillon ahead of dinner, told me this year will be a "good" one for retail. I tend to agree. Meanwhile, there was a red carpet event for press ahead of dinner, which is where I spent about two hours rocking a slim fit suit and a backpack. Suddenly the job description of Executive Editor vanished and gave way to former retail stock analyst, which I did for about 10 years. Old habits die hard. Here is what I learned from various VIPs. Modell's CEO Mitch Modell: bullish on Under Armour (UA) - Get Report getting its act together with CEO Kevin Plank "refocusing" and making some key hires (Plank needs to prove this, if you ask me); Children's Place (PLCE) - Get Report CEO Jane Elfers: reaffirmed to me that children's apparel is a good place to be in as the millennial generation finally starts having kids (TheStreet just talked with Elfers for our Alpha Rising series); Retiring Neiman Marcus CEO Karen Katz: acknowledged that rising oil prices are starting to positively impact Neiman's home market of Texas (might be positive for restaurants with big Texas store bases such as Brinker International (EAT) - Get Report ). Unfortunately, can't share everything I learned...have to play Executive Editor and get the team on some stories before rivals! Overall takeaway from working the room: Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report will not be the only retailer on the planet by the year 2023. Tons of innovation starting to percolate among old and new retailers that will help them compete effectively with Amazon.

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The U.S. dollar plunge is disturbing: As TheStreet's Martin Baccardax points out, the U.S. dollar touched its lowest level since January 2015 today. Pick your reason why the dollar is falling apart: expectations on ballooning deficits thanks to Trump's tax reform; fear of rising inflation thanks to Trump's tax reform; worries the dollar's plunge sends people off to invest in the next reserve currency...bitcoin (kidding, maybe). Whatever the case, the dollar's ongoing demise could mean a nice top and bottom line bump this year for multinational companies. Here is a list of top names from RealMoney columnist Ed Ponsi that stand to benefit from the weak dollar. Of the list, Action Alerts Plus holding Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report  and restaurant beast McDonald's (MCD) - Get Report strike me as the strongest weak dollar plays (strong fundamentals + weak dollar = big quarters). 

Detroit Auto Show kicks off: Be sure to follow TheStreet's Bret Kenwell on Twitter this week as he walks the floor and talks to execs at the Detroit Auto Show. Already, Kenwell has stumbled upon a host of crazy rides, such as an electric autonomous truck that sure looks cooler than Tesla's (TSLA) - Get Report new semi. Ford (F) - Get Report is already having a solid showing at the event. The car-maker will pump more than $11 billion into hybrid and electric investments over the next five years, chairman Bill Ford revealed Sunday evening. That's more than double its previous target, says Baccardax. Ford plans to have 40 of these models on the road by 2022.

What's Hot

Cars, Cars, Cars

Kenwell is making it happen on Twitter live from the Detroit Auto Show. 

What Doesn't Nvidia Do?

Action Alerts Plus holding Nvidia (NVDA) - Get Report seems to have its hands in everything cool these days. In addition to making headlines at CES last week, Nvidia is popping up at the NRF conference as well. 

Because Why Not?

As Eminem said long ago, you only have one shot...

So why not ask Walmart CEO Doug McMillon for a selfie.

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