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Top 4 Business Stories of the Day

Crowdfunding has caught on in a variety of industries, spurred in part by regulatory changes that make it easier for such businesses to look for investors. In real estate, Scott Whaley, president of the National Real Estate Investors Association in Cincinnati says, the key advantages are the ability to access more deals, invest smaller sums and connect directly with developers to ask questions and research deals. Unlike real-estate investment trusts, crowdfunding also allows people to invest in particular buildings. Scott said,"There's massive demand, both from entrepreneurs who want to get access to capital, and from people who want to invest capital." Bangladesh garment factory owners say they are soaking up much of the cost of nearly doubling wages as some global retailers balk at price hikes, leaving less money for safety improvements urged by apparel chains after last year's Rana Plaza disaster. The task of coping with a 79 percent increase in the minimum monthly wage to $68, imposed last December at the urging of some retail chains, comes as competition intensifies among emerging markets producing garments for stores like Walmart and Zara. That is squeezing sales in Bangladesh's main export industry. Delta continues to show why it has become the de facto leader of the U.S. airline industry, not only for its superior financial performance but also for its willingness to take chances and to speak up – particularly in regard to the Export-Import Bank. The bank’s charter expires Sept. 30. Congress is considering whether to reauthorize it. Last week, the Republican Study Committee considered whether to support the reauthorization. The bank devotes bout 40% of its resources to backing loans to buyers of Boeing jets by foreign carriers who compete with Delta and other U.S. carriers. Under-pressure stocks have no place to hide in the coming days, despite the possibility of lighter trading due to Passover beginning on Monday and U.S. stock and bond markets closing for Good Friday in the Easter week ahead. The next four days brings an onslaught of earnings from more than 50 major companies in the S&P 500, speeches by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, and a slew of economic indicators in the United States and China. Also planned in the coming week are a number of high-profile initial public offerings (IPOs) of stock that will test the market’s appetite amid the rout of the techs.

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