Target offering teachers special discount July 15-21

It’s no secret many teachers dig into their pockets to pay for classroom supplies each year.

Target has a new way to help educators stretch those dollars.

In a Target.com blog post, the retailer wrote: “Pssst… teachers. New this year, we’re making life a little easier for you, too, with a special 15 percent discount.”

This is the first time Target says it’s offering the discount on “select classroom supplies, from pens, pencils, crayons and markers to classroom storage and organization and tissues, hand sanitizer and more.”

Teachers can cash in Sunday through July 21 when shopping in-store and online. All the details and the coupon code will be posted at Target.com/teacherprep Sunday, the blog post said.

“As many teachers begin to think about the upcoming school year, the Teacher Prep Event helps them get the classroom supplies they need at a greater value,” said Mark Tritton, Target’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer in a statement. “It’s a way for Target to acknowledge the role they play in going the extra mile for their students.” 

In a National Center of Education Statistics study released in May, 94 percent of teachers reported spending their own money on supplies.

The average amount teachers said they spent without reimbursement was $479, far more than the federal $250 tax deduction available to teachers.

About 44 percent said they spent $250 or less, while 36 percent spent from $251 to $500, the survey showed.

Target’s teacher discount

Target officials provided the following about the special 15 percent discount:

  • All teachers nationwide are eligible for the discount, including preschool teachers, homeschool teachers and college professors.
  • Target is partnering with SheerID, a nationally-recognized eligibility verification services company focusing on military personnel, college students and teachers, to verify eligibility.
  • Items eligible for the discount include:
    • Select classroom supplies: Pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks, folders, binders, arts and crafts items like markers, colored pencils, scissors, glue and classroom storage and organization.
    • Essentials: Disinfecting wipes, facial tissue, hand sanitizer and food storage bags.
    • The discount excludes trial and travel-size items and Bullseye’s Playground. For more information about eligible items, visit Target.com/teacherprep. 

More: What’s the scoop? See the deals Sunday for National Ice Cream Day

More: Build-a-Bear chaos: How to get your $15 voucher after the failed Pay Your Age event

More: Students aren’t the only ones crushed by school debt

Kelly Tyko is a consumer columnist and retail reporter for Treasure Coast Newspapers and TCPalm.com, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK. Follow her on Twitter @KellyTyko and email her at kelly.tyko@tcpalm.com.

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Let’s move to Halifax, West Yorkshire: gutsy streetscape and deadpan locals | Money

What’s going for it? “The Shoreditch of the north”, said BBC Radio 6 Music. “What?!” yelled Halifax – and the rest of the world. They groaned on the information desk at the smart new library when I brought it up. It is not. And the better for it. Sure, the anointed king of hipsters, Father John Misty, played Halifax. There is a music scene. Vinyl shops have been spotted. Avocado toast is for sale. There are ironic whiskers here and there, but many commute to Leeds, Hebden Bridge or Manchester, where property prices are less kind. No, Halifax remains Halifax, with its gutsy streetscape, excellent Borough Market (the hot pies!) and deadpan locals. It has just had a bit of cash spent on it for the first time in an age. The new library. The Square Chapel arts centre, with its natty roof. And the pièce de résistance, the restored Piece Hall, a vast Georgian cloth hall straight out of an imperial central European capital. Halifax, the Vienna of Yorkshire. That is more like it.

The case against Very little, really, if you ignore the hype. More investment in the local economy would go down a treat, but the bone structure of the town remains excellent. Wet, of course, this being the Pennines. And (in my opinion) scandalously far from the seaside.

Well connected? Very. Trains: to Bradford (13-15 minutes), Leeds (35-40), Hebden Bridge (11-15), Burnley (33), Blackburn (52) and Manchester (48-56). Driving: the M62 passes just south; 30 minutes to Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield, Leeds, Bradford and the Peak District; an hour to Manchester.

Schools Primaries: among many good, says Ofsted, Lee Mount, Beech Hill, Parkinson Lane, Savile Park, Copley, All Saints CofE and Siddal are “outstanding”. Secondaries: Halifax Academy is “good”, with North Halifax Grammar, Trinity CofE and Crossley Heath Grammar “outstanding”.

Hang out at… It’s tough to find, tucked down lanes, but the Shibden Mill Inn is country pub perfection.

Where to buy South and west are best, especially Savile Park, where enormous and beautiful Victorians and Edwardians go for decent prices. It is also nice in Skircoat Green and out west towards Warley. And there are some great 18th- and 19th-century farmhouses at the edge. Large detacheds and townhouses, £350,000-£1m. Detacheds and smaller townhouses, £150,000-£350,000. Semis, £75,000-£450,000. Terraces and cottages, £50,000-£350,000. Flats, £40,000-£250,000. Rentals: a one-bedroom flat, £300-£600pcm; a three-bedroom house, £400-£750pcm.

Bargain of the week Four-bedroom interwar semi with offroad parking in Savile Park, £180,000, with reedsrains.co.uk.

From the streets

Mark Mckay “Grayson Unity is a lovely bar that puts on gigs. It does a good pie, too.”

Lyn Holmes “Great coffee, cakes and atmosphere at CafeZone.”

Live in Halifax? Join the debate below.

Do you live in Weston-super-Mare? Do you have a favourite haunt or a pet hate? If so, email lets.move@theguardian.com by Tuesday 16 July.

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‘America First’ could turn into ‘India First’

What is an H-1B visa?

America is great because of its willingness to accept talented immigrants.

That’s what Nandan Nilekani, the billionaire co-founder of Infosys Technologies, would tell President Trump if he had the opportunity.

“If you really want to keep the U.S. … globally competitive, you should be open to overseas talent,” Nilekani said on the sidelines of CNN’s Asia Business Forum in Bangalore.

Infosys (INFY) is India’s second-largest outsourcing firm, and a major recipient of U.S. H-1B visas. The documents allow the tech firm to employ a huge number of Indians in U.S. jobs.

The Trump administration is now considering significant changes to the visa program. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in January that Trump will continue to talk about reforming the H-1B program, among others, as part of a larger push for immigration reform.

Curbs on the visas could hit Indian workers hardest.

India is the top source of high-skilled labor for the U.S. tech industry. According to U.S. government data, 70% of the hugely popular H-1B visas go to Indians.

Shares in several Indian tech companies — including Infosys — plunged spectacularly two weeks ago amid reports of an impending work visa crackdown.

Related: Tech industry braces for Trump’s visa reform

Nilekani said it would be a mistake for the administration to follow through.

“Indian companies have done a great deal to help U.S. companies become more competitive, and I think that should continue,” Nilekani said. “If you look at the Silicon Valley … most of the companies have an immigrant founder.”

India’s contribution to the industry — especially at top levels — has been outsized. The current CEOs of Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT), for example, were both born in India.

Related: India freaks out over U.S. plans to change high-skilled visas

But Nilekani, who is also the architect of India’s ambitious biometric ID program, suggested that India would ultimately benefit from any new restrictions put in place under Trump’s “America First” plan. If talented engineers can’t go to the U.S., they will stay in India.

“This issue of visas has always come up in the U.S. every few years, especially during election season,” he said. “It’s actually accelerated the development work [in India], because … people are investing more to do the work here.”

Nilekani cited his own projects for the Indian government as an example.

The Bangalore-born entrepreneur left Infosys in 2009 to run India’s massive social security program, which is known as Aadhaar. As a result of the initiative, the vast majority of India’s 1.3 billion citizens now have a biometric ID number that allows them to receive government services, execute bank transactions and even make biometric payments.

“It was built by extremely talented and committed Indians,” Nilekani said. “Many of them had global experience, but they brought that talent and experience to solve India’s problems.”

Nilekani said the country’s massive youth population is increasingly choosing to stay home and pitch in.

“It’s India first,” he said.

CNNMoney (Bangalore, India) First published February 13, 2017: 2:19 PM ET

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Investors pull $1.85 billion from U.S.-based equity funds: Lipper

(This July 12 story corrects data after Lipper revision on U.S.-based corporate investment-grade bond funds in paragraph 9.)

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By James Thorne

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investors withdrew $1.85 billion from U.S.-based equity funds in the week ended Wednesday despite strong stock market performance during the same period, according to Lipper data released on Thursday.

The data showed $1.46 billion was withdrawn from U.S.-based equity mutual funds and $387 million from U.S.-based equity exchange traded funds in the latest week.

This is the sixth straight week U.S. equity funds have experienced cash withdrawals, Lipper data showed.

In the run-up to second-quarter earnings, fund investors “bet on the fact that the trade wars are going to get worse,” said Tom Roseen, head of research services at Thomson Reuters Lipper.

The S&P 500 posted four straight days of gains before slipping on Wednesday following reports of additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

Investors’ risk aversion was evident in the demand seen for safer U.S. government and money market funds.

U.S.-based government-Treasury bond funds attracted $494 million during the period, Lipper said. Fund investors deposited $21 billion in U.S.-based money market funds, the largest net deposit since early June.

Some opportunistic buying also took place. U.S.-based high-yield bond funds saw more demand than their investment-grade counterparts, attracting $1.85 billion for the week ended Wednesday, following three consecutive weeks of outflows, according to Lipper data.

Investors deposited $814 million into U.S.-based corporate investment-grade bond funds during the period, continuing a streak of weekly inflows since March, Lipper said.

Outside of the United States, U.S.-based international equity funds posted $549 million of cash withdrawals for the week, the seventh consecutive week of outflows, according to Lipper.

U.S.-based emerging market equities took in about $148 million for the week, after four weeks of outflows, Lipper data showed.

Reporting by James Thorne; Editing by Diane Craft

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Is ownership dead? Why you might be better off renting your next car

We British think of ourselves as a nation of homeowners, but the truth is that we are a nation of owners, full stop.

Owning, rather than renting, gives a sense of security that appeals to the British psyche, and this is as true of cars as it is of houses.

But could that be about to change? As the population is forced towards renting a home rather than buying it, could the same shift be happening into car ownership?

Normally, buying a car means paying cash upfront, either from savings or a loan, or entering into a hire purchase or contract hire deal that means you pay off the full value of the vehicle, plus interest. Hire purchase deals eventually mean you own the car outright.

But a new breed of financing offers an intriguing alternative. PCP, which stands for “‘personal contract purchase”’ or “‘personal contract plan”’, is a loan based on the car’s projected value at the end of the deal, rather than at the beginning.

This means the monthly payments (which include interest) are lower, typically allowing you to drive a pricier car than you’d otherwise be able to afford.

The borrower puts down a deposit, usually 10 per cent, and agrees with the dealer how much they expect the car to be worth at the  end of the loan period, which usually lasts two to three years.

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Federal Reserve projects further gradual hikes in key rate

The Federal Reserve said Friday it expects low unemployment and rising inflation will keep it on track to raise interest rates at a gradual pace over the next two years. By late 2019, the Fed says its key policy rate should be at a level that will be slightly restrictive for growth.

The Fed’s projection on rate hikes came with release of the central bank’s semi-annual monetary report to Congress. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to testify on the report for two days next week.

The Fed last month raised its policy rate for a second time this year and projected two more hikes in 2018. The monetary report says the expectation is that further hikes will leave the rate slightly above its neutral level by late next year.

The Fed’s current projection for the neutral rate — the point where monetary policy is not stimulating growth or restraining it — is 2.9 percent. With the June rate hike, the current range for the policy rate, known as the federal funds rate, is 1.75 percent to 2 percent.

The policy report says that officials’ median outlook for the future course of interest rates would put the policy rate “somewhat above” the neutral rate by the end of 2019 and through 2020.

The report noted that the median projection for the funds rate has it rising to 2.4 percent by the end of this year, which would indicate two more rate hikes are upcoming in 2018, and then climbing to 3.1 percent by the end of 2019 and 3.4 percent by the end of 2020.

That forecast would mean that the Fed’s interest rates would cross a major milestone next year toward a point where Fed interest rates are no longer being kept low to boost economic growth and will instead begin to slightly restrain growth in an effort to make sure that low unemployment does not cause the economy to overheat and trigger rising inflation.

The Fed’s interest rate has not been restrictive for over a decade. In response to the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed cut its policy rate to a record low near zero in December 2008 and kept it there for seven years. It boosted rates by a modest quarter-point in both 2015 and 2016 and then raised rates by three times last year as the economic recovery finally began to gain momentum.

Powell, who will testify next Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee and on Wednesday to the House Financial Services Committee, said in an interview this week that he believed “the economy’s in a really good place” at the moment with unemployment at the lowest point in nearly two decades and inflation finally approaching the Fed’s optimal goal of 2 percent annual increases.

In the monetary policy report, the Fed said that it expects “a gradual approach to increasing the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with a sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions and inflation near the committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term.”

The monetary report noted that worries about rising trade tensions had caused a period of turbulence in financial markets earlier this year.

In his interview with the radio program “Marketplace” on Thursday, Powell said that Fed officials have been hearing a “rising level of concern” from business executives following the tough talk from the Trump administration, which has imposed penalty tariffs on a number of countries in an effort to open markets for U.S. goods. The effort has provoked retaliation, and now the world’s two biggest economies, the United States and China, are in a full-blown trade war.

In the interview, Powell said he was “very pleased with the results” of the Fed’s gradual pace of rate hikes.

“We’re returning rates to a more normal level,” Powell said. “If we leave rates too low for too long, then we can have too high inflation or we can have asset bubbles or housing bubbles. If we move too quickly, then we can unintentionally put the economy into a recession.”

Powell was tapped by President Donald Trump to succeed Janet Yellen in February as Fed chairman after Trump decided not to offer Yellen a second term. Trump during the campaign was highly critical of the Federal Reserve, accusing officials of keeping rates at ultra-low levels to favor Democrats.

While Trump has not attacked the Fed since becoming president, Larry Kudlow, his chief economic adviser, said in a recent interview that he hopes the Fed would raise interest rates “very slowly,” comments that were seen as breaking more than two decades of precedent where the White House has refrained from commenting on Fed policies.

But Powell said he was not concerned that the Trump administration might try to exert pressure to influence the Fed’s actions on interest rates.

“We have a long tradition here of conducting policy in a particular way and that way is independent of all political concerns,” Powell said.

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Couples who pay down debt well together can strengthen relationship

Of all the topics that can cause marital flashpoints, money is near the top. Forget sleeping with the window open or closed — the biggest fights are likelier to spring up when someone blows the budget or hidden debt comes to light.

For more than half the couples surveyed by Fidelity in their report, Couples and Money, cash plays a significant part in the relationship — and when debt is on the table, the impact is far from positive.

Of couples who are concerned about debt, 46 percent say money is the biggest relationship challenge. To compare, just 16 percent of couples who aren’t burdened with debt say money is a challenge.

Retirement planning is another wellspring of disagreement. It may be decades away or it may be looming on the horizon. But many couples in Fidelity’s survey simply cannot agree on what age both think is ideal for retirement or how much they’ll need to save to pay for their current way of life. Nearly half (49 percent in the study) said they have “no idea.”

“Anecdotally, I’ve heard these same kinds of things from couples,” says Judy Ward, senior financial planner and vice president at T. Rowe Price. “We may have a vision of retirement yet neglect to see if our spouse is on the same page.”

The solution to retirement squabbles is to improve communication. Ward says couples can write out their vision of retirement separately, then compare notes.

If one person pictures a lake in Canada and the other is dreaming of a Miami condo, “clearly you’ll have some compromising to do,” she says.

More: One couple’s journey from debt to $1.5 million in savings

More: Getting a divorce? Here are 20 tips for maintaining financial sanity

More: Dealing with debt: How one couple paid off $162,000 they owed in 3 years

More: Financial secrets: Here’s why couples fight over money

The art of communication

The study revealed other misunderstandings and gaps in knowledge between spouses, even though most couples claim to communicate either exceptionally or very well.

Communication misfires run the gamut from simple disagreements to deeper structural problems. It might seem like an easy question to answer, but one in five couples couldn’t agree how long they’ve been together. One in seven couples couldn’t accurately report their other half’s employment status.

Over the years some financial concerns have shifted. Building up an emergency savings account was a bigger concern for 50 percent of couples in 2013. Two years later this percentage had dipped slightly, to 43 percent. This year, just 38 percent of couples expressed concern over emergency savings.

Other issues still spark anxiety for more people. In 2013, 38 percent said they felt financially secure enough to have and support children. This year’s survey found just 21 percent of couples saying they felt secure.

© CNBC is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

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The Build-A-Bear bargain fiasco spells more bad bear days for our shop | Alex Clark | Opinion

Those of us fortunate enough to live through the heady days of the Hoover free-flights fiasco thought we would never see the like again. Imagine this, people of a younger vintage: 25 years ago, some guys in marketing came up with a terrific wheeze. Buy a new vacuum cleaner, they said, and if it’s worth over £100 we’ll give you two free return flights. To the United States.

Cue a run on Hoovers, which some customers wanted so little that they abandoned them in the store the minute they had the receipt in their hot little hands, and enough hopeful holiday-makers to fill 500 jumbo jets. Needless to say, it did not end well.

At least this week’s ill-thought-through promotion was quicker to unravel. Here’s how it went: a company called Build-A-Bear Workshop invited children in the UK and the US to its shops, where they could choose, stuff and customise their own teddy bear. Sweet! But probably quite expensive, no? No. Not if you availed yourself of the special “pay your age” offer. It’s as simple as it sounds: if you’re five, it costs a fiver, and so forth.

But in a (mercifully, less violent) echo of the 2005 opening of Ikea in Tottenham, north London, in which thousands stampeded in pursuit of cheap sofas, there was a miscalculation. More or less instantly, demand outstripped supply; queues multiplied, as queues do; tempers frayed; children wept as they were carted off home, sans bear. From the Birmingham Bullring to Meadowhall in Sheffield, from Telford to Milton Keynes, it was a truly bad bear day.

Hoovers and sofas show us these cock-ups are nothing new. But they have a different feel in an era when the physical high street or shopping centre is under constant pressure from wily online retailers and the spectre of rising business rates. Whether you’re Poundland, Marks & Spencer or an independent, you’re under threat.

A couple of years ago, I used to sit in the same cafe having breakfast every Saturday morning (the middle-aged like routine, a bonus for the establishments we favour), watching crowds flock to the more chi-chi outfit opposite. Why so popular, I wondered, until I came across the concept of bottomless brunch – a deal in which you get to jam as much prosecco as you like down your neck as long as you order a cheese omelette.

It’s limited to a certain time period, as rowing on boating lakes used to be. But clearly, the model only works if your punters are not prodigiously thirsty and in possession of hollow legs. Which, basically, describes an awful lot of British people. Whether or not it was the Saturday morning sozzlers that did for the restaurant, I cannot say, but it isn’t there any more.

Food, drink, nail art – these are the fundamental experiences we cannot replicate virtually (yet). But if you walk down a high street with 17 coffee shops and 43 manicurists, you’re going to need something to make your macchiato or full-set-and-gel stand out. If you’re a toyshop, and have the full armoury of the internet against you, the ante’s upped once again.

So how, in modern-day parlance, can we take the positives from the teddy trauma? One parent, who took her five-year-old out of classes for the day because “they’re not really doing much in school that’s important at that age”, was perhaps more on the money than she realised. True enough, her daughter might have missed out on some crucial key stage 1 action, but think of what she learned from the University of Life – and, indeed, the famous School of Hard Knocks.

She learned about the importance of detailed planning and the need for contingency arrangements; about the speed with which a group of people in a previously orderly civic space can morph into a baying mob; about the range of human behaviours, from acceptance to sheer, glassy-eyed venality.

Perhaps most important, she learned about disappointment: how it wrenches your guts but must be faced down as quickly as possible. For what is worse than festering disappointment, as Boris Johnson will soon have cause to wonder? In our testing times, there is surely no age too tender to begin that lesson.

Meanwhile, a lucky shopper had other problems to contend with. Yes, she confided, she had indeed got a bear. The trouble was, she’d waited for so long that any savings she had made were offset by the parking charges she’d incurred. And that might be the most important takeaway from this sorry saga: you think you’ve beaten the system, but the parking will always get you in the end.

Alex Clark is a regular Guardian contributor

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Will the iPhone 8 charge wirelessly?

Happy 10th birthday, iPhone

You may never have to plug in your iPhone again.

Apple has joined an industry group devoted to wireless charging, strengthening existing rumors that the next iPhone will charge without a cord. The Wireless Power Consortium, which is made up of some 200 organizations that promote a single wireless charging standard, confirmed to CNNTech that Apple joined the group last week.

IPhone rumors swirl months before each new version is announced, and hype around the so-called ‘iPhone 8″ is particularly high: Apple (AAPL) is expected to unveil a major redesign of the this fall to mark the 10-year anniversary of the smartphone.

The company has already shown interest in doing away with cumbersome cords. The Apple Watch charges wirelessly, provided consumers spend $79 on a magnetic charging dock. And the latest MacBook now comes with only one USB port.

Related: Apple stock nears a record high

Apple would also create another iPhone revenue stream by selling a wireless charging station separately. The feature would simplify charging for smartphone owners. Rather than plugging in one’s phone, a user would only need to place it on the charging dock.

Apple said in a statement Monday it was joining the Wireless Power Consortium to contribute its ideas as wireless charging standards are developed.

As for the speculated possible features of the next iPhone, other rumors include an edge-to-edge display, a glass body and the removal of the home button.

CNNMoney (Washington) First published February 13, 2017: 2:42 PM ET

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Investors switch to defensive equities and bonds: BAML

LONDON (Reuters) – Investors switched to defensive equities and bonds in the week to July 11 as the U.S. slapped tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports and then raised the stakes by threatening another round on an extra $200 billion of goods.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 6, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Investors worry that a full-blown China-U.S. trade conflict could hurt global exports, investment and growth, and have scrambled to take risk off the table.

Bonds attracted inflows of $5.6 billion — their biggest inflows in 12 weeks — data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) showed on Friday, while defensive equity sectors such as healthcare enjoyed their largest inflows in a year, pulling in some $800 million.

Overall, equity funds attracted some $1.2 billion, with the United States pulling in $4.3 billion, Europe $4.2 billion and Japan $1.9 billion.

Yet BAML noted that 34 MSCI equity indices were down year-to-date, and only 11 were up after a bruising first half for global markets.

Turkish equities are the biggest faller, down 36.7 percent, as investors have grown concerned by the outlook for monetary policy under President Tayyip Erdogan, who has moved quickly to cement his power since winning an election.

Other big losers include Brazilian equities, down 15.3 percent, and South African stocks, down 13.3 percent.

As a whole, emerging equities are down 6.6 percent, toward the bottom of BAML’s cross-asset table of winners and losers in dollar terms. Perhaps not surprisingly then, emerging market equity funds suffered redemptions of $1.3 billion in an eighth straight week of outflows.

But emerging market debt funds enjoyed their first inflows in three months, attracting a modest $900 million.

The lion’s share of the fixed income flows continued to go to investment grade bond funds, which pulled in $2.3 billion, while high yield bond funds ended their nine-week drought, attracting $500 million.

Reporting by Claire Milhench; Editing by Toby Chopra

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