From $725 million in fireworks to $1 billion in beer, Americans will shell out a lot of money this Independence Day.+ READ ARTICLE
When it comes to Independence Day, Americans aren’t shy about spending money. We’ll spend $725 million on fireworks, up from $695 million last year, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. Forty-two million people will travel for the holiday, thanks to low gas prices, says AAA. We’ll spend $71.23 per person on cookouts, which is $6.6 billion total, for 700 million pounds of chicken, 190 million pounds of beef and 150 million hot dogs. And to top it off, we’ll spend $1 billion on beer.
Despite a jump in jobs and lower unemployment, analysts are focusing on a different stat.
Nigel Thomas' American Dream was to start his own business. This is it.+ READ ARTICLE
Nigel Thomas and his family moved to America from the Caribbean when he was just seven years old. Education and having a thriving career were always important in his culture, but Thomas yearned for something bigger than that security. When his employer offered a severance package to employees, he saw his opportunity to fulfill his dream of owning his own company. The venture Thomas founded is GoLocker, a service that allows customers to get their packages at their convenience from lockers inside 24-hour grocery stores. With five sites in Brooklyn currently, he hopes to expand to as many as 15 locations before the end of the year.
Puerto Rico's governor said the island cannot pay its $72 billion debt. Add high unemployment to the equation, and that's a bleak economic picture+ READ ARTICLE
Things aren’t looking good for the Isle of Enchantment. Puerto Rico is in 3½ times as much debt as Detroit was in when it filed Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2013. The island’s $72 billion debt is larger per capita than any state, but the island’s government can’t file bankruptcy like Detroit did because only cities are allowed to file Chapter 9. Puerto Rico’s governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, said the island’s debts are not payable, and that he needs to pull it out of a “death spiral.” This is bad news for mainland consumers as 70% of American mutual funds have Puerto Rico bonds.
It will take your pulse and track the environment — but you can't have one.+ READ ARTICLE
Google’s new wearable is something most people won’t get the chance to wear. Google X, the part of the company that innovates new technology, says the wearable will be used primarily as a health research tool. This device is to become “a medical device that’s prescribed to patients or used for clinical trials,” says Google’s Andy Conrad.
Responding to salary questions the right way will maximize your offer and keep you in the running.+ READ ARTICLE
Answering “What are you looking for in terms of salary?” is a tricky question to answer, especially early on in the interview process. Dodging the question by asking “I’d actually like to talk a little more about the job responsibilities” is a good way to deflect. Try to prepare yourself by using tools like PayScale and Glassdoor to find out what other people earn for similar jobs at the company. It’s important to remember there’s more to your income than your salary; you can feel comfortable including your benefits, 401(k) matching, and bonuses when talking about your current compensation.
What reason could there be for a 4-door sedan that can go 200 mph?+ READ ARTICLE
Do you throw the kids in the back and go drag racing with them on the way to Grandma’s? Do you try to get out of the drive-through window at Starbucks in under half a second? I’m not really sure what Chrysler was thinking when it greenlighted the 707-horsepower Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. And I’m really sure I don’t care—because this car is one growling piece of fun.
Yes, the Hellcat bolts off the line like a cheetah locked on an antelope, as in 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 secs. Your trip to 100 mph takes just a trice longer. Feeling the g-forces, which you can track on the instrument panel, just adds to these briefest of pleasure trips. Chalk it up to the 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 Hemi engine. It’s the biggest power plant to wear the Hemi badge in a production car—by comparison, note that NASCAR is running at 725 hp this season. A few more horses and you and Dale Jr. are trading paint, right?
Not really. Let’s face it: You’re not going to spend most of your time driving over the speed limit, and certainly not at 200 mph. Even on a track, this beastie will spend most of its life under 150 mph.
The big surprise in this package—and a genius rationalization for buying one—is that the badass-looking Hellcat is an absolute pussycat at highway speeds. The car is relaxed, comfortable with its lower-speed self. Why? The tach is reading 1,200 rpm, meaning the engine isn’t breaking a sweat, even if you are getting twitchy to floor it. When you combine with the car’s racing suspension and powerful Brembo brakes, you actually get the ultimate cruise machine: a rock-solid and quiet ride. And those seats. MONEY’s test car, a don’t-mess-with-me shade of black, had tan leather seats that reminded me of a beautiful baseball glove. It was like sitting in the pocket of a classic leather Wilson or Spalding, but ready to be slung forward like a Nolan Ryan-Randy Johnson-Aroldis Chapman fastball.
Drawbacks? Sure. Feed the kitty with high-test gas and you’ll get maybe 20 mpg on the highway. We averaged in the mid-teens. And in addition to feeding those horses all that gasoline, you’ll pay close to $100 per horse for the Hellcat version, which in our test car included extras such as a power sunroof and a very good Uconnect 8.4-in. touchscreen infotainment system. But what the Hellcat—that’s the price of unstinting, unrestricted, and unusually plush power.
Ford is joining the likes of Zipcar and other car-sharing services.+ READ ARTICLE
The 112-year-old automotive company is partnering with car-sharing companies Getaround (in America) and easyCar Club (in the U.K.) to test an all-Ford, peer-to-peer car-sharing service for drivers. The test will run through November in six cities: San Francisco; Berkeley; Oakland; Portland, Ore.; Washington, D.C.; and Chicago. Ford will directly invite around 14,000 American and 12,000 British customers to try out the service. GM launched a similar car-sharing program in 2012, but ended it not long after.
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An Iranian nuclear deal could bring an influx of oil, but when and how sanctions are lifted could also affect prices.+ READ ARTICLE
The deadline for a nuclear deal is June 30, which could lead to the lifting of sanctions on Iran. Oil is believed to make up 80% of Iran’s exports, and current sanctions have chopped those exports in half. Iran could potentially add another 800,000 barrels of oil a day to the market within six to nine months, according to Robin Mills, an energy strategist for Manaar Energy. Even though the potential for pumping oil in Iran is strong, deal makers are pushing for sanctions to be lifted gradually instead of immediately.
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