1. Stormy Weather
Thanks to back-to-back snow- and ice storms across the country, retail sales in January fell short of economists' expectations--and all signs suggest this Valentine's Day will be similarly weak for some businesses. Thanks, Cupid.--Inc.
2. Tech Trend
It's official: The Internet of Things will be a bigger market than computers, smartphones, and tablets combined. According to a new report, 1.9 billion devices, including parking meters and refrigerators, are connected to the Internet, and that number is expected to soar. If you still need a hint, get into this consumer-goods space.--Business Insider
3. Sales Strategy
It's no secret that more companies are using social media, but if you are firing off tweets and wondering if it even matters, take note: 82 percent of hypergrowth companies say social media helped them find new leads.--Mashable
4. Fast Food
Taco Bell announced that its customers will be able to place orders via smartphone by the end of this year. The chain joins a growing list of major food vendors (McDonald's and Chipotle, to name two) that are taking the lead to figure out how to make this mobile strategy work.--The Verge
5. Copper Plans?
A high-deductible, lower-premium insurance plan might be OK for Obamacare health exchanges after all. The White House is reportedly weighing whether to include these "copper" plans to offer individuals and small businesses another option. --WSJ