TAX CUTS BRING BONUSES. Walmart..announcing that it will use some of its savings under the new tax bill to provide wage increases, bonuses & expanded benefits to its hourly workers.

 By Todd Horwitz, Bubba Trading

 

Todd’s Daily Video Commentary can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/yb2gf9uk

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TAX CUTS BRING BONUSES

Mixed Signals

Walmart, the nation’s largest private employer, waded into the bumpy waters of partisan politics on Thursday, announcing that it will use some of its savings under the new tax bill to provide wage increases, bonuses, and expanded benefits to its hourly workers.

The giant retailer, which faces stiff competition for qualified workers in a tight labor market and pressure from unions to increase wages, said it would raise its minimum starting wage to $11 an hour, from $9. It will also expand maternity and family leave benefits, and give bonuses of up to $1,000 to eligible employees.

But within hours, Walmart had undercut its triumphal message when news leaked that it was closing 63 of its Sam’s Club stores. Sam’s Club, a retail chain offering memberships, was soon trending on Twitter, and labor groups and Senate Democrats seized on the news to question Walmart’s motives and criticize the tax bill as failing to protect low-wage workers.

Chief Executive Doug McMillon cited the tax overhaul for the pay increase, which the Trump administration praised at the White House. But the wage boost also comes as many U.S. businesses are contending with tight labor markets and rising wages. Retail rival Target Corp. recently lifted its starting pay to $11 an hour and Costco Wholesale Corp. starts hourly staff at $13.

Some manufacturers, too, are reacting. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said Thursday it would pay $2,000 bonuses to about 60,000 U.S. salaried employees and invest $1 billion in a Michigan plant following the tax overhaul.

The monthly U.S. unemployment rate has held at a 17-year low since October. Retail trade workers in the U.S. earned an average hourly wage of $15.51 in December, up about 11% from five years ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For Walmart, it is the third increase in its minimum wage since 2015.

Keep those stops tight
Todd “Bubba” Horwitz

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Todd Horwitz - Author of “Average Joe Options“. Todd began his trading career in 1980 at the CBOE. He was one of the original traders in the OEX & helped start the SPX. He is a member the CME where he trades S&P futures as well as foreign currencies & is a regular contributor to CNBC, Bloomberg, BNN, Fox & many other major news networks.