Next time you're at the mall, take a closer look at the paper price tag dangling from the clothes you take into the dressing room. If you hold the tag up to a light, you might see a dark, salt-grain-sized speck in it. Or, if you run your thumb over the tag, you might feel an almost imperceptible bump.
Now that retailers have put their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales behind them, many are gearing up for another potential holiday season gauntlet: A possible crush of procrastinators hitting their stores and websites at the last minute.
NASA on Tuesday awarded a pair of much-anticipated contracts, worth up to $6.8bn combined, to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station to Boeing and SpaceX in a deal that would allow the U.S. to launch astronauts into space from U.S. soil for the first time in years.
Big-box electronics giant Best Buy reported sagging second-quarter sales Tuesday amid increasingly intense competition from rival retailers.
The company's comparable sales dipped 2 percent in the U.S., though it still managed to post $146m in profit, largely thanks to a long-term cost-cutting program. But with few new electronics products to capture consumers' attention, the rest of 2014 isn't looking any sunnier.