This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. And the U.S. stock market's on a tear. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 14,000 yesterday, for the first time in more than five years. Investors seized on encouraging news about factory orders and auto sales. They chose to look past a report that unemployment inched up last month, too, to 7.9 percent. NPR's Scott Horsley reports.
Happy days are (or might be) here again: The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 14,000 Friday, marking the first time the stock market measure has broken that barrier at close since October 2007.
The average closed at 14,009.79. That's up more than 149 points, or about 1.1 percent for the day. The closing comes hours after the release of a new monthly unemployment report that indicated jobs grew at a faster rate late last year than previously estimated.
The iconic black cabs of London got a lift Friday when a Chinese company rescued the British automaker that manufactures the taxis. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group said it will pay $17.5 million to buy Manganese Bronze Holdings, which has been making the cabs since 1899.
The winter may not be over, but economists are looking to spring for good news when it comes to jobs. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about whether a strengthening housing market could boost stalling jobs numbers.
Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 2:43 pm
Here in the depths of winter, U.S. economic numbers aren't looking so hot. This week, new reports showed growth started to freeze up last fall, and the unemployment rate rose a bit in January, to 7.9 percent.
But most economists say you shouldn't let those cold facts fool you: This spring's data could look much brighter if the housing market continues to heat up.
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 11:39 am
Anyone who gives up gluten, either by choice or medical necessity, will inevitably feel a twinge of regret bidding adieu to bread, pasta or pastries. But for some, the greatest hardship may be saying no to beer — especially at times like Super Bowl Sunday, when having a cold one in hand is part of many people's game day tradition.
So it's no small thing that a growing number of brewers are offering gluten-free beers that are both tasty and satisfying.
Something tells me a few people may be hoisting a few cold ones on Sunday. One hundred ten million people are expected to tune into the Super Bowl then. And, of course, it's not just the game that attracts people, it's also the ads. Viewers who watched the 1984 Super Bowl may not recall who won the game, but they may well remember the ad that Ridley Scott directed for Apple. And you may not recall very many plays from last year's Super Bowl, but I bet you heard about the Chrysler ad starring Clint Eastwood.
And now to Google, which is looking for some hackers to ride to the top in an unusual competition. Our last word in business is: pi contest, as in 3.14.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Three point one four, that's the amount in millions of dollars that Google is offering in what its Podium Hacking Contest. The challenge here is to hack the Google Chrome operating system and expose security flaws.
Travis McCoy is the product manager for Chrome and we asked him why pi.
Netflix customers will soon have a new option: Along with the company's usual offerings, viewers will be able to watch a new show called House of Cards, a political drama adapted from a British show, and starring Kevin Spacey. David Fincher (known for The Social Network and Seven) will direct the first two episodes. But what's new about House of Cards is that all 13 episodes will be available at once — and they were financed by Netflix itself.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Making a living in commercial fishing in the Northeast has gotten tougher with each passing year. Now, regulators have announced strict new limits on the amount of cod fishermen can haul in from Massachusetts to Maine. It's part of an effort to rebuild severely depleted fish stocks.
As Maine Public Radio's Jay Field reports, some fishermen worry the new restrictions may finally put them out of business for good.
Melissa spent months looking for a job — any job. For days, the 25-year-old consistently visited her welfare-to-work program in downtown Brooklyn, resume in hand and an interview smile splashed across her face.
"Every day, Monday through Friday, 9 to 4," she explains. "That's dedication."
Melissa, who asked us to not reveal her last name, has plenty of job experience. She's a self-identified "people person" and says she aces every interview. But there's just one thing holding her back: the past.
Officially as of last week, there's nothing quite like Apple's stores. After an array of patents of its products, Apple has decided to go whole hog and trademark its minimalist store design. The trademark was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Jan. 22, Reuters reported.
A $20.1 billion merger of beer conglomerates is now delayed, after the U.S. Justice Department sued to stop Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisition of Mexico's dominant brewer, Grupo Modelo, Thursday. The agency's antitrust division says the two corporations haven't done enough to protect consumers.
The deal would put Corona, Bud Light, Stella Artois, and other popular beers under the same corporate umbrella, ending the competition that Justice officials say has resulted in lower prices. The Mexican government approved the merger last November.
Americans' personal incomes grew by 3.5 percent in 2012, compared with 5.1 percent growth the year before, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. And it says consumer spending rose 3.6 percent last year, vs. 5 percent in 2011.
It may sound like a line from The Godfather, but some agricultural specialists advise that farming isn't personal; it's business. And family farms need to think and act more like a business to survive in a competitive world, says Bernie Erven, professor emeritus in the department of agricultural economics at Ohio State University.
NPR's business news starts with advertisers liking Facebook.
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MONTAGNE: Facebook says its mobile advertising business nearly doubled from the third to fourth quarter of 2012. As a whole, the company's ad business grew at its fastest rate since it went public last May.
Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 5:11 am
The economy shrank a bit in the fourth quarter and analysts are trying to figure out why. It's clear that declines in business inventories and government spending played a role, but was the real problem the narrowly averted fiscal cliff?
Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 5:36 am
BlackBerry has unveiled a new smarthphone that it hopes will woo back the many customers it lost in the past few years. Among its strategies, the company appointed singer Alicia Keys as its global creative director. But in the last few days Keys was found to be tweeting from an iPhone, one of BlackBerry's big rivals.