Whole Foods shakes up board, appoints new CFO

Whole Foods Market Inc named a new chief financial officer and five independent directors who were not on activist investor Jana Partners’ slate, in a dramatic shakeup as the high-end grocer seeks to boost dwindling profits and a sagging stock.

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Coach’s $2.4 Billion Kate Spade Deal Aims at Weak Middle of Fashion Market

Coach and Kate Spade have long been the affordable luxury brands of choice for the aspirational shopper. From Coach’s embossed logo and leather handbags to Kate Spade’s kitschy, colorful accessories, their products lured buyers who wanted a taste of fashion without the sharpest edges — or the highest cost.

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FDA to Spend $3M Educating Consumers on Safety of GMOs

This week, a federal budget agreement passed that prevented a government shutdown. Part of that agreement has allocated $3 million to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a new campaign–in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture–to educate consumers about foods produced with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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Railroads prepare for freight volumes to rise

A freight “tsunami” is sweeping toward Chicago from the Eastern Seaboard, and a proposed train-and-truck facility in suburban Will County could help railroad CSX ride the wave. Logistics and economic development experts predict a rising volume of goods passing through East Coast seaports, thanks to a wider Panama Canal and more shipments coming via the Suez Canal from Southeast Asia.

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UP to invest $923.1m in rail infrastructure across five states

The Omaha, Neb.-based Class I railroad’s investment plans stemmed from its $3.1 billion capital plan for 2017. The capital plan was unveiled in February, and since then, the Omaha, Neb.-based Class I railroad said it would invest in Texas, California, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oregon.

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Here’s What Financial Markets Are Telling Us About the Economy

If you’re using financial markets to take the pulse of the global economy, your chart’s telling you the patient’s ready to run a marathon while in need of a stint in the ICU at the same time. It all depends on the asset class you’re reading.

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Diesel Prices Increase to Start the Month

The price of diesel fuel in the U.S. increased for the first time in a month, ending a streak of three straight weeks of price drops, according to the latest numbers from the Energy Department. The average price of on-highway diesel fuel jumped 2.4 cents last week, hitting $2.556 per gallon at the pump. The price is now 44.1 cents more than it was in the same week of 2016.

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ATA reports sharp decrease in Q4 truckload driver turnover rate

While motor carriers continue to work hard to fill driver seats, data issued today by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) is showing that the efforts are showing signs of paying off more so than usual. ATA reported that the annualized turnover rate for large truckload carriers, which it defines as truckload fleets with more than $30 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 was down 10 percent compared to same timeframe in 2015 at an annualized rate of 71 percent, which it said marks its lowest rate in six years.

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Outlook for Canadian economy still uncertain: Poloz

The head of the Bank of Canada says he is still keeping a close eye on risks to the economy even after a string of healthier-than-expected numbers. The remarks by Governor Stephen Poloz on Tuesday followed a speech in Oshawa, Ont., where he made the case for a policy mix frequently promoted by the federal government – an openness to more foreign investment, immigration and free trade.

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New Report Confirms Freight Railroads Are Deeply Connected to International Trade

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today released an assessment of trade’s impact on the freight railroad industry, finding that at least 42 percent of rail carloads and intermodal units, and more than 35 percent of annual rail revenue, are directly associated with international trade. Approximately 50,000 domestic rail jobs, accounting for more than $5.5 billion in annual wages and benefits, depend directly on international trade, the analysis of 2014 data also found. If rail traffic indirectly associated with trade was included, the figures would be notably higher.

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Rail Industry Sets New Safety Record

U.S. railroads had the lowest train accident rate on record in 2016, according to data from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). Derailment rates, which declined 10 percent in 2016 from 2015, as well as track-caused accident rates, are also both all-time lows. The 2016 rail safety statistics continue a string of record-setting years, showing this period has been the safest ever for the rail sector.

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Intermodal rates see fastest growth in five years

Intermodal rates rose 4.9 percent in February 2017 compared to the same month last year, just the fifth year-over-year increase since December 2014 and the largest since January 2012, according to the latest Cass Intermodal Price Index, which measures all-in per-mile costs.

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CEOs Are Really Optimistic About the Economy

Chief executives at some of the largest U.S. companies are increasingly optimistic about the future of the economy. According to The Business Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Index, as cited by Bloomberg, the optimism among 141 CEOs increased 19.1 points in the first quarter to 93.3-the largest jump since the last three months of 2009. The index, according to Bloomberg, is a measure of the expectations CEOs have for revenue, capital spending, and employment.

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