American students try harder if you pay them, economists found

American students try harder if you pay them, economists found

American high school students score higher on low-stakes tests and are more willing to answer test questions when they are motivated by cash, according to new economic research. Giving high school-aged students money as a reward for performing well improved scores by roughly 5 percent, according to economists at the University of California, San Diego and the University of Chicago. This outside incentive, they concluded, suggests that the education gap between U.S. students and their…

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Nebraska commission approves Keystone XL route, clearing obstacle for disputed oil pipeline

Nebraska commission approves Keystone XL route, clearing obstacle for disputed oil pipeline

The Keystone XL pipeline passed a major hurdle on Monday after Nebraska regulators approved the route for the project, which faced opposition from environmentalists and the Obama administration. The approval is also something of a victory for President Donald Trump, who overturned his predecessor’s decision on a pair of controversial pipelines in the opening days of his presidency. The Nebraska Public Service Commission voted 3-to-2 to approve TransCanada’s route for the nearly 1,200-mile pipeline. However,…

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Square’s stock is up 220% this year, but charts point to trouble

Square’s stock is up 220% this year, but charts point to trouble

It’s been hip to be Square this year. Shares of the mobile payment stock have surged 222 percent in 2017, including 13 percent last week alone following the announcement that it would begin testing bitcoin on its app and a big analyst upgrade. Evercore ISI upgraded Square to outperform on Friday and doubled its price target, citing Square’s “new products with strong, omni-channel capabilities.” Despite the rally, Miller Tabak’s Matt Maley believes the red hot…

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The bears may have missed their last chance to feast on 2017’s stock market

The bears may have missed their last chance to feast on 2017’s stock market

One week ago, a full buffet seemed to open up in front of Wall Street’s underfed bears. Stocks in Europe and Japan, leaders all year, were in sharp pullbacks and Chinese growth numbers fell a bit short. Prices for high-yield corporate debt, a key support for equities, were sagging and their yields rising from historically low levels. And the stock market, already expensive and perhaps over-loved, had itself entered a cautious phase in November —…

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‘Justice League’ faces a steep climb to $1 billion as opening weekend falls short of $100M mark

‘Justice League’ faces a steep climb to $1 billion as opening weekend falls short of $100M mark

Time Warner‘s Warner Bros. has yet to score a billion-dollar global hit with its series of interconnected DC comics movies, despite featuring heavyweights like Batman and Superman. The studio’s latest blockbuster, the superhero team-up “Justice League,” appears poised to extend the streak. The movie is pacing for a $96 million North American opening, below expectations and the weakest haul for the five DC extended universe movies that Warner has released. That could make it hard…

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Thanksgiving week is usually good for stocks

Thanksgiving week is usually good for stocks

Stocks have a good chance of trading higher in the week ahead, if the typical Thanksgiving holiday week trading patterns take over. The S&P 500 has averaged a gain of 0.6 percent during Thanksgiving week, and has been higher 75 percent of the time since 1945. In the years when the market is already up 10 percent or more, Thanksgiving week was even stronger — gaining nearly 0.8 percent on average, according to Bespoke. In…

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‘Justice League’ faces a steep climb to $1 billion as middling reviews roll in

‘Justice League’ faces a steep climb to $1 billion as middling reviews roll in

Time Warner‘s Warner Bros. has yet to score a billion-dollar global hit with its series of interconnected DC comics movies, despite featuring heavyweights like Batman and Superman. The studio’s latest blockbuster, the superhero team-up “Justice League,” appears poised to extend the streak. As the North American opening for “Justice League” gets under way, the movie is facing the twin threat of middling reviews and a so-so Thursday night box office haul. That could make it…

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Black Friday week usually pushes retail stocks into the black, history shows

Black Friday week usually pushes retail stocks into the black, history shows

In the week leading up to Black Friday and in the days thereafter, the clear outperformers in the stock market are the retailers participating in the holiday shopping phenomenon themselves. The shares are already on the comeback trail heading into Thanksgiving week 2017, as companies including Nike, L Brands, Wal-Mart, Gap, Ulta Beauty and Foot Locker all finish the week on a positive note. The S&P 500 Retail ETF (XRT) was up more than 2.8…

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Traders betting on Deere, these other stocks ahead of earnings next week

Traders betting on Deere, these other stocks ahead of earnings next week

Traders are using options to make big bets on Deere, Palo Alto Networks, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise ahead of earnings next week. Deere reports on Wednesday before the bell, and while traders are bullish on the stock ahead of the report, they’re not anticipating a monster gain. Last month traders bought more than 10,000 calls at the December 120 strike price, according to Jon Najarian, Najarian Family Office co-founder and “Halftime Report” contributor. But they…

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Cramer: Crushed retail stocks show some life because ‘Amazon can’t destroy everybody’

Cramer: Crushed retail stocks show some life because ‘Amazon can’t destroy everybody’

Retail stocks are trading higher because investors have realized the “death star” known as Amazon “can’t destroy everybody,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT), an exchange-traded fund that tracks the performance of retail stocks in the S&P 500, was more than 2 percent higher Friday. The ETF is on pace for its best day since July 25 and is up 3.58 percent this week. Retailers, including Foot Locker and Gap, rose…

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