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BNET Daily Dispatch: Home Depot, Microsoft, Tesco, and the U.S. Dollar

  • Home Depot announced today the largest environmental labeling initiative in the history of American retailing. The program will tag almost 3,000 products with the "Eco Option" label, indicating superior environmental performance.  “Who in the world has a chance to have a bigger impact on this sector than Home Depot?” said Ron Jarvis, vice president for environmental innovation. The program also signals a new strategy of capitalizing on issues of public concern.
  • Tellme, the voice-recognition technology company in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, announced today a new range of services that will provide voice-activated internet search to mobile phone users. Google is testing similar services, and Tellme's announcement is seen as a step ahead for Microsoft in the battle to perfect voice-activated search, which is seen as a key ingredient for mobile access to the internet.
  • Tesco, the British supermarket monolith, is getting more ambitious with its plans to invade California and, eventually, the United States.  The company is tripling its investment from 20 million to 65 million pounds to open hundreds of smaller "Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets" within a year. Tesco's high morale and increased investment has heightened analysts' expectations that Tesco's long-term goal is to take on Wal-Mart in its own territory.
  • The U.S. dollar headed toward a record low against the Euro today, as a new government report indicates that higher energy prices pushed up inflation during March.  The dollar fell 0.18 percent to $1.3560 per euro, and fell against most other major currencies as well.  This event adds to concerns that the U.S. economy is slowing.
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