Business

Chornyak & Associates
8:29 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Market Watch: September 2014, Financial News from Chornayk & Associates

  U.S. markets shoot higher

August was another very strong month for U.S. stock markets, even as the conflict in Ukraine worsened and signs of weaker global economic growth appeared. After a slow first week, gains were steady through month-end, with the S&P 500 Index closing out August up 4 percent, the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 3.6 percent, and the Nasdaq up 4.82 percent. The larger uptick for the Nasdaq suggests that investors were becoming more focused on gains than on market risks.

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Business
3:21 am
Wed September 10, 2014

New York Says It's Time To Flip The Switch On Its Power Grid

A worker repairs electrical lines in Plainview, N.Y., after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. A proposed plan to overhaul the state's power grid could help the system better withstand severe weather and enable energy to be stored and managed more efficiently.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 11:18 am

In the power business, it's all about managing the peaks.

During the hottest days of summer, electric utilities run at full capacity to keep giant cities comfortably cool. But most of the rest of the year, half that capacity goes unused — and that's highly inefficient.

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Business
8:47 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Hiring Slows In August, But Unemployment Dips To 6.1 Percent

A chart showing the number of jobs added by U.S. employers since January of 2004.
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 11:46 am

The August jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a mixed one: It shows that hiring slowed in August, but the unemployment rate dipped a tenth of a percent.

Here are the two big numbers:

-- The economy added 142,000 jobs; way below the 200,000 level needed to continue pushing down the unemployment rate and way below that of the previous six months.

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Business
3:31 am
Wed September 3, 2014

As Airports Find New Ways To Make Money, Pittsburgh Tries Fracking

At the Pittsburgh International Airport, Consol Energy will begin extracting gas — even under the runways.
MeRyan Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 9:19 am

Pittsburgh International Airport employee Bob Mrvos jokes that you could golf in the terminals' corridors — they're that empty, especially compared with other airports he flies into in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago.

"You walk through those airports and you can barely get through the hallway there's so many people," Mrvos says. "And when you land in Pittsburgh, it's like the airport's closed."

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Business
4:35 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Should Local Police Get The Military's Extra Armored Trucks?

Page County, Va., Sheriff John Thomas received an MRAP for his department in May. "Is it overkill? Yeah, it is. I mean, for our use, it's more armor than we need. But it's free," he says.
David Welna NPR

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 6:17 pm

Mine-resistant, ambush-protected troop carriers, known as MRAPs, were built to withstand bomb blasts. They can weigh nearly 20 tons, and many U.S. troops who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan are alive today because of them. But many of the vehicles are now considered military surplus, so thanks to a congressionally mandated Pentagon program, they're finding their way to hundreds of police and sheriff's departments.

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Business
5:07 am
Tue September 2, 2014

What's In A Name? Former Arthur Andersen Employees Spell It Out

Courtesy of Prime Group

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 10:01 am

Arthur Andersen is back. Or at least the old accounting firm's name will be, for the first time since its association with accounting scandals at Enron more than a decade ago.

The firm was criminally convicted — a decision that was later overturned, although that came too late to save the company.

As of Monday, a company called WTAS is adopting the Andersen name and, in doing so, hopes clients will have forgotten the bad associations.

'That Was The End'

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Business
3:31 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Detroit Bankruptcy Battle Begins In Federal Court

The murals by Diego Rivera and other works at the Detroit Institute of Arts would be safe from creditors under the plan before a bankruptcy judge Tuesday.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 10:04 am

Detroit's historic bankruptcy case is entering the home stretch. The crucial, final trial phase begins Tuesday in a Detroit courtroom.

The trial will decide the fate of a plan to wipe out billions of dollars in debt and help Detroit emerge from bankruptcy as a new, revitalized city.

This trial is a big deal, but don't expect anything with lots of courtroom drama. For one thing, it's federal bankruptcy court — and there's no jury.

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Business
3:38 am
Fri August 29, 2014

As BP Pays For Oil Spill Impact, Some People Aren't Seeing The Cash

Patrick Roy's company, Coastal Rental Equipment, used to rent these large pumps to offshore divers who work for oil and natural gas drillers. After the BP oil spill, when the government introduced a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the Patterson, La., business suffered losses and eventually shut down.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 7:55 am

BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico disrupted business all along the coastline. Through the end of July, the oil giant paid more than $13 billion to compensate people, businesses and communities affected. The company is disputing some of those claims in court battles that could drag on for years.

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Business
3:31 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Back-To-School Shoppers: Hunting For Tax Breaks And Bargains

Retailers are optimistic about back-to-school sales because the job market has been strengthening and gas prices have been falling.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 9:27 am

For millions of Americans, August is a month for relaxing and basking in the summer sunlight.

Those are the people without children.

The households with students are likely to be scurrying around under the bright florescent lights of big-box stores, searching for back-to-school bargains on clothes, shoes, notebooks, backpacks, computers and dorm furniture.

And many shoppers are timing their purchases to take advantage of sales-tax holidays for school-related items, hoping to keep a bit more in their wallets.

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Business
5:45 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Should We Kill The $100 Bill?

Noel Celis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 3:02 pm

Of all the U.S. currency in the world, nearly 80 percent is in $100 bills. That's about a trillion dollars.

Some people want to get rid of the bill altogether. Ken Rogoff, an economist at Harvard University, says the $100 bill helps criminals:

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Business
12:01 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Inequality Is Falling On Planet Earth

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 1:17 pm

Inequality is rising in the U.S. You know this. As the graph below shows, incomes since 1988 have been flat for poor and middle-class people, and rising for the upper-middle-class and, especially, for the wealthy.

A bunch of causes are commonly cited for rising inequality. One is globalization: Competition from foreign workers has kept a lid on wages for low-skilled workers, and added to gains for some at the top of the income ladder.

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Business
5:29 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

After Factory Layoffs, Struggling To Stay On The Economic Ladder

Lynn Eldredge works as a facilities manager for several fast-food restaurants in Utah. At 50, he has no benefits and no retirement savings.
Courtesy of Lynn Eldredge

Originally published on Tue August 12, 2014 1:51 pm

Lynn Eldredge has worked hard for the past three decades. But somehow, it's still not quite enough.

Eldredge started his working life in the Air Force, and eventually found a steady job in a factory in Kansas. But then, in 2000, he was laid off — and has had six different jobs since then.

Over the past several decades in the U.S., wages have stayed flat or even gone down, while the cost of living has gone up. Economists say that's because jobs went overseas, technology replaced human labor and labor unions have seen their influence decline.

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Business
5:00 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Tensions Stir At EPA Hearings On New Emission Rules

Some 5,000 union members, led by the United Mine Workers of America, march outside the William S. Moorhead Federal Building on Thursday in Pittsburgh. The city hosted two days of public hearings by the Environmental Protection Agency on stricter pollution rules for coal-burning power plants.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:14 am

The coal industry made its presence known in Pittsburgh this week for public hearings on President Obama's controversial plan to address climate change. A key element is rules the Environmental Protection Agency proposed in June. They would cut greenhouse gas emissions — chiefly carbon dioxide — from existing power plants. The national goal is 30 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels.

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Business
7:02 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Argentina's Default: 5 Headlines That Tell The Story

Argentina's Economy Minister Axel Kicillof speaks during a press conference at the Argentina Consulate in New York on Wednesday.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 9:45 am

Yesterday in New York, representatives from Argentina and some of its creditors emerged from negotiations to announce that they had failed.

As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, this meant that the country had fallen into default for a second time in more than 12 years. The repercussions of the default are unpredictable, but it could mean that the country is shut out of the international debt markets, perhaps pushing interest rates and inflation higher.

With that here are five headlines that tell the story of Argentina's default:

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Business
4:59 am
Wed July 30, 2014

New York Skyscraper's Separate 'Poor Door' Called A Disgrace

Lower-income residents may find affordable housing hard to come by in Manhattan.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 2:50 pm

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is under fire for signing off on a building plan that allows a new luxury high-rise on Manhattan's western edge to have a separate entrance for low-income residents.

About 20 percent of the units in the 33-story tower will be reserved for low- and middle-income residents. But all the affordable units will be grouped in one area, and those tenants will have to enter through a separate door.

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Business
4:59 am
Wed July 30, 2014

As Pharma Jobs Leave N.J., Office Space Ghost Towns Remain

Tom Stanton of the real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle shows off empty lab space at Roche in Nutley, N.J.
Daniel Tucker WNYC

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 1:04 pm

New Jersey used to be known as "the nation's medicine chest," but over the past two decades, many of the state's pharmaceutical industry jobs have dried up or moved elsewhere, and left millions of square feet of office space, warehouses and laboratories sitting empty.

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Business
1:37 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

It May Be Summer, But For Economists, This Week Feels Like Christmas

Chiang Ying-ying AP

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 4:31 pm

This week is summer's sweet spot — the peak time for pool parties, fresh-picked berries and cool drinks. But for economists, it may feel more like Christmas — so much to unwrap!

Each day will bring new decisions and reports that could have a big impact on the nation's economy. So economists, investors and workers will have plenty to ponder. Here's what's happening this week:

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Business
7:37 am
Mon July 28, 2014

When Did Companies Become People? Excavating The Legal Evolution

Volunteers at the Lincoln Memorial help roll up a giant banner printed with the Preamble to the Constitution during an October 2010 demonstration against the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 1:52 pm

Are corporations people? The U.S. Supreme Court says they are, at least for some purposes. And in the past four years, the high court has dramatically expanded corporate rights.

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Business
10:43 am
Fri July 25, 2014

When Do Chefs And Doctors Buy Generic?

Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 12:41 pm

Pharmacists and doctors are more likely than the general public to buy generic medicine, as we reported last year. And chefs are more likely than the general public to buy generic food.

The economists who figured this stuff out recently published a new update (PDF) to their research, which caught our eye.

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Business
6:13 am
Thu July 24, 2014

How High Debt From The Housing Collapse Still Stifles Our Economy

An artist's installation shows pre-foreclosed homes in Newark, N.J., in July 2009 at the Queens Museum of Art in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 1:05 pm

"Foreclosure, foreclosure, foreclosure."

Real estate broker John Susani drives down a Paterson, N.J., street where every third house seems to be abandoned or boarded up. During the boom years, money flooded into Paterson.

"The banking industry allowed everyone to be a homeowner; they gave mortgages to people [just because they were] breathing," Susani says.

In some cases, he says, home prices jumped as much as 50 percent. The homes on these streets aren't worth nearly that much anymore.

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