• The home improvement store Home Depot is known for offering consumers tools, lawn materials, appliances and construction material. Despite the bulky nature of its key products, the retailer is now expanding its online shopping options. This past year, the home-improvement giant opened more distribution centers than stores. One store it did open, however, was in North Dakota, stationed in the oil and gas town of Minot. The oil and gas boom has created large population growths in remote areas of the country as construction and oil production workers move to new extraction and exploration sites.
• Google Inc. is taking apps to a new level. In a phone being designed by the tech giant, consumers would be able to not only purchase apps, but also hardware accessories that could be attached to a standard phone body through slots and magnets. Some of the potential hardware options would be various cameras and blood sugar monitors.
• Chipotle Mexican Grill is raising its prices, menu-wide, for the first time in three years. The company says the reason for the increase is the continuously rising prices of key ingredients such as beef and avocados.
• China’s own version of Twitter, Weibo Corp., raised $286 million in its initial public offering last week, rising 19 percent from its initial price of $17 per share. The tech company, which means “microblog” in Chinese, allows users to post short statuses, comment on other users’ posts and repost. While the IPO did not live up to expectations, still over 33 million shares exchanged hands on the first day of trading.
• Gas and oil prices are on the rise due to the approaching summer season, which means more Americans are traveling long-distance and exports of American gas are increasing to foreign countries. The national average for gas prices has now risen to $3.63 per gallon, or 12.1 cents per gallon higher than last year’s rate. New Jersey alone has seen prices jump nine cents per gallon.
All information courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.