Feb 27, 2017

Big in business: Wendy's hires robots

The fast-food chain is installing self-help kiosks at 1,000 restaurants this year, the Associated Press reports. This is the sort of anecdote brandished by those who warn of the effects of automation on the labor market. But if there were automation invading the American labor market, business would be producing more with fewer workers, and the data is saying they're not — at least yet.

Something has to give: According to Jim O'Sullivan of High Frequency Economics, who says that high stock valuations — the Dow will shoot for its 12th straight record close Monday — and measures of consumer and business confidence in recent surveys cannot exist beside a Washington D.C. that gets little done.

Investors of the edges of their seats: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Fox News Sunday that President Trump will address tax reform during his speech on Tuesday, and that the forthcoming budget won't cut entitlement programs. This appears to limit the ability to propose big, stimulative tax cuts to workers and businesses, but Wall Street will be hungry for specifics.

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