An Amazon Echo dot. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images.

Americans already spend $2 billion annually on smart speakers like Amazon's Alexa, but that number is expected to multiply to $40 billion annually in just four years, reports CNN.

The big picture: Amazon and Google are dominating the branding field, but other brands like General Mills and Hershey are "racing to understand the technology and make their products stand out."

Retailers are getting in on smart speakers because Americans are using the speakers to do more of their shopping. As Amazon and Google's smart assistants move into additional households, they take American dollars through e-commerce and ad revenues. Retailers can regain that revenue through Smart speakers.

Yes, but: Amazon in particular is far ahead of its competition. Alexa recognizes specific products users want while other speakers are not that advanced yet. Amazon also has smart speakers in 10% of households across the country and continues to grow.

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Joe Biden's campaign released his 2019 tax returns on Tuesday, showing that he and his wife, Jill, paid nearly $300,000 in federal taxes last year.

Why it matters: The release, timed just hours before the first presidential debate, comes days after a bombshell New York Times report said that President Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017. Biden's team is hoping to make the tax contrast a sticking point during their showdown.

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New York City's coronavirus positivity rate has ticked up to 3.25%, its highest since June, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The jump — from 1.93% on Monday — came on the first day that public elementary classrooms reopened in the city after months of closures, but guidelines state that all public schools will have to shut if the citywide seven-day positivity rate stays above 3%.