Business

5:23am

Wed January 22, 2014
Around the Nation

Punishing Winter Temperatures Drain Propane Supplies

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this latest winter storm and those freezing temperatures are putting a strain on already low supplies of propane in the Northeast and Midwest. Millions of Americans use the liquefied gas to heat their homes. And as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, they're paying more and getting less this winter season, which started early, thanks to the extreme cold of the polar vortex.

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5:23am

Wed January 22, 2014
Business

Sears To Close Flagship Store In Downtown Chicago

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a Chicago farewell.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Sears announced its closing its flagship store in downtown Chicago as part of an ongoing effort to cut expenses. It was once the largest retailer in Chicago. In fact, it was the namesake for the Sears Tower, the country's second tallest building.

One executive said that ever since it moved from the Sears Tower - which is now the Willis Tower - the downtown Chicago Sears has lost millions of dollars.

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5:23am

Wed January 22, 2014
Business

Quicken Loans Offers $1 Billion In NCAA Bracket Promotion

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:12 am

The finance company is offering a $1 billion prize to whoever correctly picks each game in the men's NCAA tournament. The odds of correctly picking every game are more than 9 quintillion to 1.

5:23am

Wed January 22, 2014
Business

Banks Challenged By Economy Despite Positive Earnings

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:12 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Over the past week or so, most of the country's banks have reported their profits for the last quarter of 2013. The numbers, mostly, have better than most analysts expected. After a rough few years, most big financial institutions are faring pretty well. But there's some debate about how sustainable the numbers really are.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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5:23am

Wed January 22, 2014
Business

Global Economic Recovery To Keep Strengthening

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:12 am

The International Monetary Fund has updated its outlook for the world economy. The IMF boosted its forecast for global growth slightly. It also hiked its estimate for U.S. growth.

3:43am

Wed January 22, 2014
Around the Nation

Gentrification May Actually Be Boon To Longtime Residents

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:34 am

The bustling Sidamo coffee shop in Washington's H Street Northeast neighborhood. The area has attracted many new, young residents and high-end bars, retail and restaurants over the past several years.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Bobby Foster Jr. can often be found reading the paper on a wooden bench outside Murry's grocery store on the corner of Sixth and H streets northeast in Washington, D.C.

"The sun shines over here this time of day," says Foster, a retired cook. "It's always good when the sun shines."

Murry's has been an anchor in this neighborhood for decades — during the crack wars of the 1980s and the urban blight that followed, when most other businesses packed up and left. Foster has been somewhat of an anchor, too. He's lived here for 54 years.

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8:23pm

Tue January 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Buying A Detroit House For $500, And Then Explaining Why

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:43 pm

A corner in Poletown, the section of Detroit where Drew Philip bought a house for $500.
Courtesy of Garrett MacLean

Drew Philp made waves this month by explaining to the Internet why he bought a house in struggling Detroit for $500. In his much-discussed story for Buzzfeed, Philp said that he is part of "another Detroit," one where people are working to help each other and save their city.

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7:29pm

Tue January 21, 2014
The Two-Way

Big Bike-Sharing Supplier's Bankruptcy Doesn't Doom U.S. Programs

A major supplier to bike-sharing companies declared for bankruptcy this week — but experts say they still see the services spreading. Here, a man rides a Citibike through the Dumbo district of Brooklyn.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The Canadian company that is the main equipment and technology suppliers for bike-sharing systems across the U.S. has filed for bankruptcy.

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6:34pm

Tue January 21, 2014
MPX Lead

Hackers Go 'Phishing' In The Wake Of Target Data Breach

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:55 pm

The retailing giant Target is doing what it can to limit the damage from a massive data breach. But there are signs that other hackers are trying to take advantage of the original data theft with elaborate "phishing" schemes.

6:20pm

Tue January 21, 2014
MPX Lead

High Court Considers Legality Of 'Fair Share' Union Fees

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:57 am

A worker clears snow from in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Susan Walsh AP

The rest of Washington may have shut down for the snow, but not the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead, the justices heard arguments Tuesday in a case that could decimate public employee unions. At issue: whether nonunion members can be required to pay fees to help cover the cost of negotiating a contract from which they benefit.

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