Of course, Alibaba was going to do this: Alibaba (BABA) will pay about $2 billion for a 36% stake in Sun Art Retail Group, which runs China's biggest chain of supermarkets. The investment was made alongside a similar stake owned by France's Groupe Auchan Retail SA and a much smaller holding for Taiwan's Ruentex, TheStreet's Martin Baccardax pointed out. Walmart's (WMT) advances in China no doubt played a role in this deal. While Walmart's revival in the U.S. has been well reported, what hasn't gotten discussed to a large degree are greater efforts to play in China's fast-growing consumption market. Walmart expanded the number of stores in China that offer grocery delivery in less than an hour through a partnership with JD.com's (JD) delivery platform (Walmart has 424 stores in China). One-hour delivery, insane. The company has also placed emphasis on improving fresh food quality. Hard to imagine the company's China unit doesn't get more digitally savvy under the leadership of Instagram-using CEO Doug McMillon. Let the battle begin.
Goldman Sachs making us all feel good: Shout to Goldman Sachs for dumping an optimistic note on 2018 in my inbox over the weekend. A couple of things the white glove investment bank expects for the economy: (1) 2.5% GDP growth; (2) 3.7% unemployment rate; (3) wage growth over 3%. With those types of numbers (which would mark an improvement from 2017), get ready for rampant inflation and eight Fed rate hikes. I'm kidding ... maybe.
Who doesn't love a dividend check: Global dividends increased at the quickest rate in three years in the third quarter, according to a new report from Janus Henderson. The growth rate in global dividends spiked 14.5% to $328.1 billion in the quarter as companies, flush with cash and more hopeful in the future, hiked quarterly payouts. Companies in the U.S. were nicely generous: U.S. dividends rose 7.2% to $109.9 billion, fueled by increases out of banks like Bank of America (BAC) and Citigroup (C) . Not included in the report: General Electric (GE) ....
TheStreet Talks With a Sports Legend
Within five minutes of sitting down with racing legend Mario Andretti at his Pennsylvania estate, I instantly recognized how -- and why -- he achieved greatness. He just wanted it more than anybody else.
Here Comes Black Friday
You know who is going to win this holiday season other than Apple (AAPL) ? Those retailers and brands that can drive an emotional connection with consumers via stellar products. I came away from my talk with Coach (COH) CEO Victor Luis bullish on how the holidays will turn out for the handbag and accessories maker. The company is on point with its products and enters the holiday season with momentum behind the newly acquired Kate Spade brand.
Also helping its cause: Many of Coach's stores are positioned near busy Apple stores. Hey, any exposure to the tech king could only help.
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