Roundup: Juul investigation / Black History Month / Consumer confidence   

    Multistate probe: A coalition of 39 states will look into the marketing and sales of vaping products by Juul Labs, including whether the company targeted youths and made misleading claims about nicotine content in its devices, officials announced this morning. Attorneys general from Connecticut, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas say they will lead the multistate investigation into San Francisco-based Juul, which also is facing lawsuits by teenagers and others who say they became addicted to the company’s vaping products. Unknown is if Louisiana is a part of the coalition, because state offices were closed for the Mardi Gras holiday. 

    Business trends: From shoes and T-shirts to dolls and tote bags, more companies and brands are getting into the business of Black History Month while at the same time trying not to leave the impression that African American consumers are important just once a year. Some businesses are using February to show off the diversity of their year-round product lines or to draw attention to the creative talent of their African American employees. Read the full story. 

    Temperature reading: U.S. consumer confidence improved slightly in February, rising to a reading of 130.7, the highest point since August. The Conference Board said this morning that its measure of consumer sentiment is up from a revised reading of 130.4 in January. The January reading was revised down from an initial estimate of 131.6. Consumers’ views on the present situation for business and labor market conditions fell this month, but their expectations for the future rose. Read the full report. 

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