Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 11:06 am
The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the benchmark of America's largest corporations, surpassed 1,700 points for the first time in early trading Thursday. The rise is being tied to a drop in weekly jobless claims, as well as assurances from central banks in the U.S. and Europe that they would continue to bolster their economies.
NPR's business news starts with Sony plugged into profits.
Sony reports that it's making money again. The Japanese company announced its second quarter earnings today. Most of its success though comes thanks to a favorable currency rate - a weak yen was key for Sony. Still, the company did see a little improvement in its smartphone sales and entertainment business. Net income for Sony's latest quarter was $35 million. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Suffixes like .org, .net and .com are the most common on the Internet today. But the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which governs Web names, plans to add some 1,400 more, some ending in Arabic or Chinese characters.
Starting this fall, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, will begin rolling out 20 new suffixes, or top-level domains, every week. This will create new entrepreneurial opportunities, says ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade.
"Diversity to the domain name system is coming," he says.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Melissa Block.
You could almost hear a collective sigh of relief today from economists. The government reported that the economy is not growing quite as slowly as had been expected and there are some positive signs on the jobs front. A private sector jobs report released today could mean the main government employment report on Friday will also show some strength.
After a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve said it will continue to buy $85 billion in bonds every month and will leave the federal funds rate at the historic rate of near zero.
Because my morning routine involves the waking, feeding, dressing, brushing and sunblocking of a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old, certain personal morning grooming habits fall by the wayside. Like, all of them. This is why I think of the gym mainly as a place to wash up.
Which is a long way of saying I ran out of shaving cream the other day.
On October 1st, online health insurance exchanges open up as part of the Affordable Care Act. Kaiser Health News' Mary Agnes Carey speaks to host Michel Martin about what will change, and how you can prepare for the roll-out.
It's been more than a year since Facebook's stock debuted at $38 in its initial public offering. But after a problematic start and an eventual slide below $20, the company saw its shares reach that initial price in early trading Wednesday, one week after it reported strong advertising revenue.
"Before Wednesday's opening bell, the shares rose as high as $38.05, before settling back down to $37.95," the AP reports. "On Tuesday, the shares closed up 6 percent after coming within pennies of the IPO price."
Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:51 pm
The U.S. economy grew by an annualized rate of 1.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013, according to gross domestic product data released Wednesday morning. The Commerce Department says the rise stems from business investments, particularly in buildings, and an upturn in exports and the civilian aircraft industry.
I read the other day that 16,000 people have been recruited as volunteers for next year's Super Bowl in New Jersey, and suddenly it occurred to me: the Super Bowl is one of the great financial bonanzas of modern times. From the players to the networks to the hotels, everybody involved with it makes a killing. Why would anybody volunteer to work for free for the Super Bowl? Would you volunteer to work free for Netflix or Disneyworld?
The reigning king in the truck world is the Ford F-150, and it's been that way for a couple of decades. But staying on top is getting harder.
With new, tougher fuel standards looming there is a lot of emphasis on efficiency and innovation. On Wednesday, Ford is announcing its flagship truck is taking a step into the alternative fuel world with a vehicle that can run on natural gas.
When you look at their bottom lines and their advertising you realize that the Detroit Three make cars, but they're really truck companies, especially Ford.
Northern California's Salinas Valley is often dubbed America's salad bowl. Large growers there have long relied on thousands of seasonal workers from rural Mexico to pick lettuce, spinach and celery from sunrise to sunset. Many of these workers seem destined for a life in the fields. But a program that helps field workers, like Raul Murillo, start their own farms and businesses is starting to yield a few success stories.
Another barrier to recognition of same-sex marriage appears to have fallen. On Monday a federal judge ordered a law firm to pay survivor's benefits to the widow in a same-sex marriage, and on Tuesday the law firm said it was happy to comply and would not appeal.
The decision is the latest in a series of court rulings equalizing benefits for legally married same-sex couples in the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:01 pm
The dazzling array of food options at the Googleplex campus in Mountain View, Calif. — 25 cafes at last count — is the much-cited example of tech world food perks. And you can peruse the menus at Airbnb and Facebook to get a taste of an equally high bar for not just free food, but worldly food that is designed to delight and fuel employees to work better and harder.
A series of fiery explosions ravaged a Blue Rhino propane gas plant in central Florida's Lake County late Monday night, forcing nearby residents to be evacuated. The detonations reportedly lasted for some 30 minutes and were heard as far as 10 miles away. A fire at the plant raged into the early morning hours.
Update at 11:10 a.m. ET: Work Continues; No Sign Of Sabotage
President Obama visits Chattanooga, Tenn., Tuesday to continue his "job creation" speeches around the country. He's stopping at a distribution center for Amazon.com. On Monday, the online retailer announced it's hiring 5,000 workers across several states.
Federal regulators are close to announcing a settlement with JPMorgan Chase. The bank was accused of manipulating prices in the U.S. energy market. It's not yet clear whether JPMorgan will be forced to admit wrongdoing.
A year ago, Montana opened the nation's first clinic for free primary healthcare services to its state government employees. The Helena, Mont., clinic was pitched as a way to improve overall employee health, but the idea has faced its fair share of political opposition.
A year later, the state says the clinic is already saving money.
Pamela Weitz, a 61-year-old state library technician, was skeptical about the place at first.
Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller have been hacking into products for a long time. But they don't steal stuff or mess with people; instead, their purpose is to pressure companies into making their products more secure.
This week, they scored big. Their research on hacking cars has captured the attention of millions and has been featured in Forbes and on the Today show.
At Margaret O'Keefe's farm in East Texas, they grow high-quality Bermuda grass. The fields are flat and vibrant green, surrounded by woods of a darker, richer green. The family loves this land. O'Keefe inherited it from her mother, who divided it among eight children.
"She used to call it 'enchanted valley,' " O'Keefe says.
But her "enchanted valley" also lies in the path of the Crosstex NGL Pipeline.