NPR's business news starts with a really big apple.
It was bound to happen. Apple has surpassed Microsoft as the most valuable company ever. That happened when Apple stock hit $665 per share yesterday, boosting its market value to nearly $624 billion. Microsoft had held the record for market capitalization since 1999. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
The airline industry is having a better than expected summer. Airline stocks have been on the rise and customer service is improving. These days, airlines are less likely to lose your luggage. They're also seeing the highest percent of on-time arrivals since the government started keeping track in the late 1980s.
NPR's Sonari Glinton reports the industry is getting some help from an unlikely source.
The business school at UCLA wants to go into business for itself. The Anderson School of Management is part of a public university. Of course, it's in California and the school's leaders find that being part of public education in California right now is a little maddening. Budget battles and state budget cuts have become normal.
Will Stone reports on what the school wants to do instead.
Cuba is one of the world's last remaining communist states. Cuba's allies in China and Vietnam also maintain firm one-party rule, but have prospered by introducing market principles to their economic models. With Cuban President Raul Castro easing government controls on property rights and private enterprise, many are wondering if the struggling island is looking to Asia for a way forward.
Changes in the health insurance industry are at the top of NPR's business news.
The giant insurance company Aetna plans to get a little bigger. It's buying Coventry Health Care for more than $5.5 billion. Now, if you want to know why, consider the changing landscape in which Aetna does business. Medicaid is expanding under President Obama's health care law, Medicare is expanding as Americans grow older, and those government-run plans include many opportunities for private insurance companies.
American is currently seeking to cut costs in bankruptcy protection so the flight attendants' union pushed hard for this vote — warning that rejecting the contract could mean even deeper cuts or furloughs. The company's trying to cut about a billion dollars in labor costs. Mechanics and other union workers had previously accepted new contracts but pilots rejected American's latest offer earlier this month.
Exports of goods and services have been one of the bright spots in the lackluster U.S. economy lately. Exports have been growing much faster than almost anything else. But, economies around the world are now slowing.
And to find out what that means for U.S. exports and jobs, we turn, as we often do, to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.
And let's talk about one more bright spot in the American economy - anything that is wrapped in bacon.
Today's last word in business is the double bacon corn dog.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Yeah. Vendors at the Iowa State Fair delighted - or disgusted - consumers when deep-fried butter made its debut last year. Well, this year, Campbell's Concessions took a hotdog, wrapped it in bacon, dipped it in corn batter, which is infused with even more bacon, and they dropped it, where else, into a deep fryer.