TREASURY

Tubman's arrival on $20 bill is delayed

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday the redesign of the $20 bill to feature 19th-century abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman, scheduled for next year, has been delayed.

The decision to replace Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president, with Tubman on the $20 bill had been made by Mnuchin’s predecessor, Jack Lew, who served in the Obama administration.

Tubman’s fate had been in doubt since the 2016 campaign based on critical comments by then-candidate Donald Trump, who branded the move an act of “pure political correctness.”

Mnuchin, however, said the delay in unveiling a $20 redesign had been prompted by the decision to redesign the $10 bill and the $50 bill first for security reasons. He said those bills will now be introduced before a redesigned $20 bill.

Mnuchin made the announcement of the delay in response to questions from Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) during an appearance before the House Financial Services Committee.

The unveiling of the redesigned $20 bill featuring Tubman, famous for her efforts spiriting slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad, had been timed by the Obama administration to coincide with the 100th anniversary in 2020 of passage of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women’s right to vote.

Mnuchin would not say whether he supported keeping Tubman on the redesigned $20. He said under the revised timeline, that decision will be left to whoever is treasury secretary in 2026.

— Associated Press

retail

Online efforts pay off for Target's sales

An aggressive campaign at Target to let customers do more online is paying off.

The retailer exceeded first-quarter expectations on just about every level, saying the same-day services it has rolled out, including picking up online orders at stores, drove more than 25 percent of comparable sales growth. That measure, which includes sales at stores open at least a year and online sales, rose 4.8 percent on top of traffic growth of 4.3 percent.

Online sales soared 42 percent, and the company said it continues to take market share across all areas, from fashion to toys.

Target is spending more than $7 billion through 2020 to update its stores, open smaller stores in urban areas and expand its online operations. Stores remain the center of its online operations, fulfilling 80 percent of all online orders.

The company lets shoppers pick up online orders curbside at 1,250 stores. Through Shipt, which it purchased in December 2017, shoppers can get deliveries to their doorstep in a few hours with a subscription fee.

Target reported profits of $795 million, or $1.53 per share, beating Wall Street expectations by a dime, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Target said it expects a low-to-mid-single-digit increase in comparable sales for the current fiscal year.

Target shares closed up $5.60, to $77.56 Wednesday.

— Associated Press

Lowe's cuts outlook after weak quarter

Shares of Lowe’s tumbled Wednesday after the home improvement retailer cut its outlook for the year after a weak first quarter.

The company cited rising costs and outdated pricing tools. Lowe’s recently acquired an analytics platform it says will modernize its pricing process and improve margins.

The company earned $1.05 billion in the quarter, or $1.31 per share. Adjusted earnings were $1.22 per share, far short of the per-share earnings of $1.33 expected by Wall Street, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research. The company had earnings of $988 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.19 in the first quarter last year. Wednesday, Lowe’s shares were down $13.16 to $97.94.

— Associated Press

Also in Business

Google is at risk of another hefty privacy fine under the European Union's strict data protection rules after Irish regulators opened a probe of possible violations into how the search giant processes users' data in advertising transactions.

— From news services

Coming today

10 a.m.: Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, releases weekly mortgage rates.

10 a.m.: Commerce Department releases new-home sales for April.