Stores that cater to the cash-strapped middle and working classes are struggling, while higher-end shops are thriving.
As American consumers are seemingly driving the recovery forward, lower-income households are getting left behind.
Reports from Macy's and Wal-Mart have been weak, but the financial sector has held up well.
The discount giant joins other big chains in posting disappointing results and tepid outlooks. But it seems to be faring worse overall.
Investors also remain concerned over when the Fed will begin to taper its stimulus programs.
Stocks drift lower within minutes of the open as the market continues to exhibit signs of fatigue.
US markets may decline at the open even as Europe's recovery finds a more solid footing.
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The Market Dispatches column has been discontinued. Here's where to find the latest stock and business news on MSN Money, and the latest from market writer Charley Blaine.
MONEY & POLITICS
Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
If you worry about money after the streetlights come on, these actions may help you rest easier.
Six weeks later, most Americans have forgotten about the 2014 tax season -- except those who didn't file by the April 15 deadline.
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