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Costco’s earnings were not particularly impressive. The retailer had sales for the quarter up 3% to $27.57 billion. Profits were $546 million.  Same store sales up 3% in US, 7% in Canada, 3% in other international and up 1% total Company for the quarter. (24/7 Wall Street)
 
Layoffs by US companies eased in February. Companies announced 61,599 job cuts last month, down 18% from January. But downsizing in February was 22% higher than a year ago. Layoffs in the energy sector accounted for 40% of February's numbers accounting for 25,051 job cuts. The technology sector had layoffs of 16,000. (Challenger, Gray & Christmas)
 
IBM is suing Groupon accusing the daily deal website of building its business model using IBM patents without authorization. (Reuters)
 
You may not be able to find everything you want next time you are shopping at Target.  The retailer is paring down its product offerings to add efficiencies to its inventory management. CEO Brian Cornell told investors the process is being carried out category by category, in a "surgical" manner. (CNBC)
 
As commodities continue to suffer, Monsanto is cutting its 2016 profit outlook. The seeds and chemical giant did say there were signs of stabilization, and doesn't plan any further job cuts beyond prior plans to lay off 3,600 workers. (CNBC)
 
S&P 500 is down 2 and the NASDAQ is down 3.  MSCI International Index is up .31%.
 
Oil is down 16 cents at $34.50 a barrel.
 
Gold is up $3 at $1244 a Troy ounce.

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