AOL CEO Tim Armstrong speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference in May 2010. - 

It's going to be a week in which American shoppers are scrutinized, prodded, and otherwise examined, starting with the government's retail sales figure for July set for release tomorrow. Julia Coronado, chief economist North America for BNP Paribas in New York, discusses the mood of U.S. consumers this summer.

Support our troops. Everybody says it, from politicians to business leaders. But when it comes to hiring those troops, many companies fall short. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans often return home to find civilian managers don’t understand how their combat service can translate to civilian work. But some veterans are finding success building careers on Wall Street. Combat requires service members to analyze large amounts of constantly changing information quickly and keep their cool when chaos comes. They have to be decisive in high pressure, volatile settings. And volatility is a constant on Wall Street.

Back in 2007, newspapers were dying, and Patch was supposed to be a solution. But this week, AOL's hyper-local online news organization is planning to shut down hundreds of Patch websites and lay off staff.

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