Welcome to Five at Five, your late look at the day’s payments and commerce news. Today’s coverage includes a new smartphone forecast and Alexa’s ambition to become a nurse. American Express has a new dispute partnership, retail sales are sluggish and the curtain is closing on Sears.
According to Goldman Sachs Analyst Rod Hall, the smartphone market in China has shown some improvement during the second quarter. Still, his forecast for third-quarter sales at Apple predicts a decline of 15 percent on a year-over-year basis.
The company recently filed a patent in which Alexa can determine different things about a person based on their voice.
The companies said the partnership is aimed at helping American Express merchants and cardmembers in the U.S. to more quickly resolve disputes related to card purchases.
Falling short of economists’ expectations, retail store and restaurant sales grew by only 0.1 percent from August to September to reach a seasonally adjusted figure of $509 billion.
Sears listed $6.9 billion in assets and $11.3 billion in liabilities. The bankruptcy filing is the culmination of years of effort on the part of Sears and CEO Eddie Lampert to turn the company around.