Growth in the U.S. service sector slowed a bit in July compared to June. The Institute for Supply Management’s nonmanufacturing index came in at 55.5% for July, down from the 56.5% in June.
Oil prices jumped back to above $40 a barrel today, thanks to bigger-than-expected drops in gasoline inventories in the last week. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported gasoline inventories fell by 3.3 million barrels, much more than the 200,000 drop expected.
Wal-Mart is reportedly in talks to buy online retailer Jet.com, perhaps in response to its plans to ramp up its online business. Sources say Jet.com could be worth $3 billion, but no specific details on a potential acquisition have been disclosed.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma wants to create a global e-commerce platform where global enterprises, including competitor Amazon, could work together and reduce trade barriers. Alibaba plans to set up a group dedicated to developing rules for such a platform.