July 07, 2014

Listener John Wang, who dabbles in a little online trading, wrote in to ask this: “I’ve always wondered why there are still people on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. It always seems kind of strange that they're there, now that we have computers and networks for doing all sorts of trades.” Most of us have a mental picture of floor traders at the stock market – men in blue jackets, shouting at each other, waving bits of paper, gesturing wildly with hand signals. But as the New York Board of trade – like almost every other exchange – has gone electronic, what's it like on Wall Street now? The latest in our "I've Always Wondered" series.

Meanwhile, the days of waiting in line at your local McDonald's could soon be over. The fast food chain piloted a program for an order-ahead app in Columbus, Georgia area stores -- not to be confused with the "McD App," which offers coupons and loyalty offers in test markets elsewhere. The new app targets the young, tech-savvy customer whose life is, inevitably, tied to his or her smartphone.

 
 

THE NUMBERS as of 2:35 P.M. EDT


DOW +27.82 (+0.21%) Dow up; NASDAQ +7.80 (+0.26%)Nasdaq up S&P 500 +3.99 (+0.24%)S&P 500 up


Mid-day Update

PODCAST: Walmart and women

With Congress back from recess, one piece of legislation that needs to be hammered out soon involves funding for transportation. With a dwindling Highway Trust Fund, delays to construction projects could be seen as soon as August. Plus, Walmart will be using a new logo to denote products from women-owned companies. But will special labels combat or perpetuate stereotypes? Also, New York's Museum of Modern Art just released Bjork's Biophilia app for $13. It's part of a larger initiative by the museum, treating technology as art.

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I've always wondered...

Answers to the big questions behind small, simple, ubiquitous things in the world of business.

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