Business

Business
4:59 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Even As Dairy Industry Booms, There Are Fewer And Fewer Farms

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

On Friday, President Obama is scheduled to sign a new farm bill into law. It contains a provision that allows all dairy farms to be part of a safety net. The point is to offset risk when milk prices are too low or feed costs too high. But Abbie Fentress Swanson reports that even in good times, smaller dairy farms in traditional milk producing states are now giving up.

(SOUNDBITE OF COWS)

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Shots - Health News
2:59 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Most Smokers Don't Buy Their Cigarettes At CVS

M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:31 pm

When CVS said it will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products at its 7,600 pharmacies by October, President Obama hailed the company for setting a "powerful example."

The announcement Wednesday made us wonder — how many people actually buy their cigarettes from drugstores, anyway?

For answers, we turned to a 2012 survey of the retail tobacco market in the U.S. conducted by research firm Euromonitor International.

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The Two-Way
9:12 am
Thu February 6, 2014

GM Posts Disappointing Fourth-Quarter Earnings

The new 2015 GMC Canyon midsize truck was on display last month the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 12:51 pm

General Motors posted a weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Thursday amid disappointing sales, especially outside the U.S.

Net income rose to $913 million, or 57 cents a share, from $892 million, or 54 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected 88 cents a share.

According to Reuters:

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Weekly Jobless Claims Dip; Will Unemployment Rate Do The Same?

The scene at a Hiring Our Heroes job fair for veterans last month in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 10:48 am

There were 331,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down 20,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That's yet another report showing that claims remain in a range where they've been running since late 2011. What does that indicate? As we've said before:

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Economy
4:23 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Reining In Health Care Costs Key To Trimming Deficit

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 1:47 pm

The Congressional Budget Office earlier this week said this year's deficit is likely to be about one-third the size it was in 2009, when the Great Recession bottomed out. A recovering economy is the main reason for the deficit's improvement, but moderating health care costs have also contributed.

Harvard economist and health policy specialist David Cutler says getting the federal government's finances under control is all about health care.

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Business
3:22 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Amtrak Fights Big Oil For Use Of The Rails

Amtrak trains on the Empire Builder route, which stops in Williston, N.D., have been facing long delays.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 12:03 pm

Oil business in North Dakota is creating some big headaches for Amtrak travelers. Trains on the popular Empire Builder route between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest are often delayed for hours.

One reason for the congestion is an influx of trains hauling crude oil across the Northern Plains.

The delays are becoming so bad that a passenger group now wants the U.S. transportation secretary to intervene.

Frozen Before Ice Fishing

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Politics
4:42 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

One Day After CBO Report, It's Time To Start Your Spin Cycle

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:23 pm

On Tuesday, economists with the Congressional Budget Office announced findings that indicated the new health care law may result in hundreds of thousands leaving the workforce. The findings spurred new debate on the merits of the law and its economic impact. NPR's Scott Horsley has more on the reactions to the report.

Business
3:38 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Which Way For Stocks? Investors Watch 'Worry Index' For Clues

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday afternoon.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 5:42 pm

Anyone who invests in the stock market knows share prices can go up — and down. That's why they call it a market.

Still, this year, price movements have been fast and furious — shocking investors and prompting many to fear "volatility."

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Employers Added 175,000 Jobs Last Month, Survey Signals

The scene last November at a jobs fair in New York City.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:00 pm

The first of two reports this week about how many jobs were added to U.S. payrolls in January indicates that growth was slow but solid.

The ADP National Employment Report estimates that there were 175,000 more jobs in the private sector last month than in December.

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Business
7:04 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Microsoft Picks Insider, Who's An Indian Immigrant, As CEO

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 1:08 pm

Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella is part of a wave of highly educated Indian immigrants who came to America a generation ago with expectations back home that they would succeed. Nadella has done just that and more, taking the reins of one of the world's top companies.

Health Care
6:12 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Is Obamacare A Job Killer? New Estimates Suggest It Might Be

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:00 pm

A new front has opened in the political battle over the Affordable Care Act, with Tuesday's release of the Congressional Budget Office's annual budget and economic outlook. The economists updated an earlier estimate about how many workers would leave the workforce because they no longer needed a job to have health care coverage — revising upward from 800,000 people to over 2 million people. Republicans pounced on the higher number, and President Obama now finds himself playing defense.

Economy
6:12 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Deficit Shrinks, But Debate Continues To Grow

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:00 pm

The federal government's deficit is shrinking quite quickly — and that may not necessarily be a good thing. As congressional forecasters lower their predictions for economic growth over the next decade, some experts are saying that gross domestic product and unemployment figures would look better, were it not for the government's rapid push to get a handle on the deficit.

Law
6:12 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Senate Steps Into The Data Breach Controversy

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:00 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A top executive at the retail chain Target went to Capitol Hill today to try to explain the massive security breach that hit the company in December. Hackers stole personal information of tens of millions of Target customers during the holiday shopping season. The incident has underscored the increasing sophistication of cyber criminals and the vulnerability of big retailers. NPR's Jim Zarroli has more on the hearing.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Congress Sends 5-Year Farm Bill To White House

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:09 am

With a vote of 68-32, the Senate approved a sweeping farm bill Tuesday that will set rules and practices for American agriculture for five years. The bill does away with controversial direct cash payments made to farmers under a subsidy system, replacing it with crop insurance.

The provisions in the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 bear signs of compromise between Republicans and Democrats, on issues ranging from food aid programs to budget cuts.

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The Two-Way
12:14 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

U.S. Borrowing Is Less Of An Economic Worry, At Least For Now

Stock investors looking for a reason to feel optimistic about the economy may have found one this morning.

A new report shows the federal budget deficit has done some mad shrinking in recent years. Thanks to spending cuts, tax hikes and a stronger economy, the deficit in this fiscal year will be only $514 billion, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday.

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Money Coach
11:56 am
Tue February 4, 2014

MyRA and IRA: Understanding Options For Your Retirement Savings

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 2:21 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for matters of personal finance. It's been a week since President Obama's State of the Union address. And you might remember him talking about the country's retirement crisis and his plan for something called up MyRAs to help people jumpstart their savings, especially if they don't work for a company with a retirement account.

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All Tech Considered
3:43 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Facebook At 10: Amid Doubters, Company Eyes Next Growth Phase

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told James Bennet, editor in chief of The Atlantic, in September that he wasn't worried about whether Facebook is "cool." "We're almost 10 years old, and we're definitely not a niche thing at this point," Zuckerberg said.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:12 am

Ten years ago, when Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook at Harvard, Noah Buyon was only nine years old.

Facebook started out as a site exclusively for college students, so it took Buyon a few years to find out about it. But when his older brothers got accounts, he wanted one too.

"It became kind of the cool thing to have," Buyon says. "I couldn't hold out any more — and I got it, and I've been saddled with it ever since."

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Politics
3:41 am
Tue February 4, 2014

The Deficit: The Talk Is Big, But The Number Is Shrinking

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:12 am

The deficit is the nation's annual budget shortfall, the difference between what the government spends in one year and what it takes in. In 2009, '10, '11 and '12, it was huge.

"You look at the president's budget," said House Speaker John Boehner in 2012, "and we've got trillion-dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see."

"We're going to have trillion-dollar deficits for years to come," said former congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.

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Parallels
3:03 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Istanbul's Mega-Projects: Bigger Is Better, Or A 'Crazy Canal'?

The pillars for the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, commonly known as the "Third Bridge" rise from the Anatolian and European sides of the Bosphorus, above the fishing harbor of Poyrazkoy. When completed, the bridge will be over two kilometers in length, making it the longest combination railway/highway bridge in the world.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:12 am

Istanbul has long been a city of historical layers and sharp contrasts: ancient monuments share the skyline none too comfortably with modern skyscrapers, and charming cobbled streets run alongside massive highway traffic snarls.

Those contrasts have multiplied under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his love of giant building projects hasn't abated after more than a decade in power.

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Around the Nation
6:14 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Outdoor Show Reopens Under New Management: The NRA

Gun rights and gun control advocates demonstrate in Harrisburg, Pa., last year after the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show decided to ban certain guns. The show was canceled that year, but is back with a new name.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:33 pm

Last year, organizers of one of the nation's largest outdoor shows tried to ban certain guns in the wake of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But the industry struck back with a boycott, and the Eastern Sports and Outdoor show was eventually canceled.

This year, it's back and bigger than ever.

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The Two-Way
5:42 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Stocks Head Lower; Investors Wonder What's Next

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the end of the trading day on Monday in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:44 pm

If your New Year's resolution was, "I am going to prepare for retirement by moving my savings into stocks," then you must be very sad now.

Broncos-fan-level sad.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged an additional 326 points, down about 2 percent to 15,373. That was the seventh triple-digit drop so far this year. Back on Dec. 31, the Dow was at 16,577.

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Economy
4:52 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

The Dow Drops Again, But What's Driving The Sell-Off?

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

The stock market had one of its worst days in months today after some disappointing news about manufacturing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 300 points, about two percent. The other major indexes were down even more.

NPR's Jim Zarroli tells us investors are reacting to new concern about the health of the global economy.

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Business
4:52 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Lots Of Little Credit Charges Add Up To One Big Scam

Many consumers don't check their credit card bills carefully — which makes it easy to miss fraudulent charges.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:29 pm

Would you notice an unexpected charge of $10 or less on your credit card statement? Lots of consumers don't — and scammers count on that, says Steve Barnas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in northern Illinois.

But Barnas says the Better Business Bureau is now hearing from consumers across the country about $9.84 credit charges for what look to be very innocuous purchases. But while they may seem legitimate, many are not.

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

'Time Is Short' On Debt Ceiling, Treasury Secretary Says

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Monday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:33 pm

Warning that "simply delaying action on the debt limit can cause harm to our economy," Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew repeated Monday that he believes Congress should act soon to raise that limit so the federal government avoids even looking like it might default on its debts.

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Your Money
11:31 am
Mon February 3, 2014

MyRA: Understanding President Obama's Retirement Savings Plan

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:23 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We'd like to start the week talking about a subject that might be on your mind as you start preparing your taxes and you're pull out those bank statements. We want to talk about planning for retirement. Almost half of households in this country don't have enough savings to cover their retirement or even unexpected emergencies, that according to a new report from a group called the Corporation for Enterprise Development.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Yellen Becomes Fed Chair, And Bernanke Heads To Think Tank

Janet Yellen smiles Monday before being sworn in as Federal Reserve Board chair at the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Just as Janet L. Yellen was sworn in as the first woman to head the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke announced his next move on Monday.

The former fed chief, who saw the country through a recovery from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, will join Brookings' Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy.

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Shots - Health News
11:18 am
Mon February 3, 2014

10 Places Where Health Insurance Costs The Most

Health insurance premiums in Aspen, Colo., are among the highest in the country.
Andrew Wilz AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 2:12 pm

If you are buying health coverage in the Colorado ski resort towns, the Connecticut suburbs of New York City or a bunch of otherwise low-cost rural regions of Georgia, Mississippi and Nevada, you have the misfortune of living in the most expensive insurance marketplaces under the new health law.

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Shots - Health News
3:28 am
Mon February 3, 2014

What's Good For Baby Camels Could Be Good For Human Skin

Camels in Jordan supply the milk for a Missouri startup's skin-care line. The company is studying the milk's anti-inflammatory properties.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 4:17 pm

In parts of the Middle East, people drink camel's milk for its nutritional value. It boasts more vitamin C and iron than cow's milk, and it's lower in fat. But in the American Midwest, some people are rubbing camel's milk on their skin — in the form of a skin-care line from Jordan.

Penelope Shihab is the founder of a biotech company in Jordan — and the woman behind the Missouri startup that's working on the skin-care products.

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The Edge
3:25 am
Mon February 3, 2014

The Games Are A Great Party, But Not A Great Investment

Graffiti covers a vent adjacent to the Athens Olympic Stadium in this photo from Feb. 18, 2012. Expenditures on the 2004 Athens Summer Games contributed to the country's debt load, which sparked the current economic crisis.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:02 pm

NPR correspondents Ari Shapiro, in London, and Joanna Kakissis, in Athens, teamed up for this joint look at Olympics economics.

The Winter Olympics in Sochi are just a few days away. Russia has spent $50 billion on everything from construction to security, making these the most expensive games in history.

Countries often justify the Olympic-sized price tag by saying the investment pays off in increased business and tourism.

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Economy
6:44 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Obama's State Of The Union And Your Economic Reality

President Barack Obama looks at a crank shaft as he tours General Electric's Waukesha Gas Engines facility on Thursday in Waukesha, Wis. as part of a four-stop tour he is making to expand on themes from his State of the Union address, including the economy.
AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:20 am

In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama stepped up to a podium before Congress and the country and declared that the state of our union was strong.

"Here are the results of your efforts: The lowest unemployment rate in over five years; a rebounding housing market; a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s," the president said.

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