Articles filed under Business

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  • Are extended warranties worth it? Sep 18, 2014 6:00 AM
    Offers of extended warranties or service contracts are becoming the norm, whether you buy a big-ticket item like a car or kitchen appliance or a less expensive one like a television or phone. The plans basically are insurance policies in case something goes wrong, but they come at a price. The FTC says on its website that a service contract “might not be worth the price.” So how do you decide whether to purchase one?

     
  • Meijer to pay $2M for selling recalled products Sep 18, 2014 10:40 AM
    Midwest retailer Meijer (MY-er) Inc. will pay $2 million to settle charges that the firm knowingly sold and distributed hundreds of recalled products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says Meijer distributed at least a dozen different recalled products — from toys to vacuum cleaners — through a system it operated with a third-party contractor.

     
  • Wells Fargo pays $290,000 in sex harassment case Sep 18, 2014 10:40 AM
    Wells Fargo Bank has agreed to pay $290,000 to four tellers in Nevada to settle a same-sex sexual harassment case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit filed last year in U.S. District Court in Reno accused a female manager and female teller at a Reno bank branch of subjecting the four women to a sexually hostile work environment dating to December 2010.

     
  • Volatile apartment sector reduces U.S. home building Sep 18, 2014 10:41 AM
    U.S. home construction plunged in August, led by steep decline in the volatile apartment category. But single-family house construction, a larger and more stable portion of the market, fell only modestly. Construction fell 14.4 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 956,000 homes, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

     
  • Fish-choking microballs have states considering soap Sep 18, 2014 8:18 AM
    Microbeads, the tiny plastic balls added to body scrubs and toothpastes by such manufacturers as L’Oreal SA and Procter & Gamble Co., were marketed as the greatest beauty aid since cold cream. Now fish have a gut full, and some U.S. and state lawmakers want the ingredient banned.

     
  • Missing men in U.S. workforce risk permanent separation Sep 18, 2014 8:18 AM
    Tom Kaminski is back at work, three years after losing his job as a human-resources manager and dropping out of the labor force for a time to go back to college. Kaminski, 43, dipped into his retirement savings while he earned a master’s degree. The added credential helped him land the position at Intuitive HR LLC, a consulting company in Woodbridge, Connecticut, last September.

     
  • Obamacare enrollment is 7.3 Million people Sep 18, 2014 12:32 PM
    About 7.3 million people have paid for their Obamacare coverage and remain enrolled in health insurance plans sold through new government-run markets, a top U.S. official said today.That’s a 9 percent reduction from the government’s 8 million May estimate, which reflected only how many people had signed up.

     
  • Household wealth increases in U.S. Sep 18, 2014 1:59 PM
    Household wealth in the U.S. climbed in the second quarter, reflecting stock-market gains that are mostly benefiting upper-income Americans. Net worth for households and non-profit groups increased by $1.39 trillion from April through June, or 1.7 percent from the previous three months, to $81.5 trillion, the Federal Reserve’s financial accounts report showed today in Washington. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index’s longest streak of quarterly gains since 1998 combined with home-price appreciation helped to bolster Americans’ finances last quarter. A strengthening job market also is giving households the means to sustain their purchases, which make up about 70 percent of the economy. “Things are getting better for households,” said Paul Edelstein, director of U.S. financial economics at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. “Consumers are getting a little more optimistic, a little more willing to take on debt.” The value of financial assets owned by American households, including stocks and pension-fund holdings, increased by $1.27 trillion in the second quarter, today’s Fed report showed. The S&P 500 index completed a sixth quarterly gain in the April through June period, climbing 4.7 percent. The gauge has advanced further since then. Household real-estate assets climbed by $202 billion, according to today’s flow of funds data. Owners’ equity as a share of total household real-estate holdings increased to 53.6 percent last quarter from 53.2 percent in the previous three months. A cooling housing market may limit the gains in household wealth. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values rose 8.1 percent in the year ended in June, the smallest 12-month increase since January 2013, an Aug. 26 report from the group showed. A strengthening labor market will help provide an offset. Unemployment in August fell to 6.1 percent, matching the lowest level since September 2008. Monthly payrolls have grown an average 215,000 so far this year, up from 197,000 for the same period in 2013. Gains in household wealth are giving Americans more confidence to borrow, today’s flow of funds report showed. Household debt increased at a 3.6 percent annualized rate from April through June. Consumer credit, including auto and student loans, climbed at an 8.1 percent pace, while mortgage borrowing increased at a 0.4 percent rate. Some of the wealth is going toward vehicle purchases. Sales of cars and light trucks rose to a 17.5 million annualized rate in August, the highest since January 2006, from a 16.4 million pace a month earlier, according to data from Ward’s Automotive Group. Today’s report also showed that total non-financial debt advanced at a 3.8 percent annualized pace last quarter, with a 6.3 percent gain in business borrowing. State and local government debt increased at a 1.2 percent pace and obligations of federal agencies climbed 2.5 percent. Household net worth also is getting help from the Federal Reserve’s accommodative stance. Policy makers, who finished a two-day meeting yesterday, maintained a commitment to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable time” after asset purchases are completed, saying the economy is expanding at a moderate pace and inflation is below its goal.

     
  • Rosemont to pay $1 million more for mall garage Sep 18, 2014 2:53 PM
    Rosemont will pay an extra $1 million for the construction of a parking garage attached to the Fashion Outlets of Chicago as a result of soil problems, officials said. “We tried to weasel our way out of it, but we couldn’t,” said Mayor Brad Stephens, who noted that the soil issues were identified at the start of construction.

     
  • Incomes rose in just 14 states as expansion still uneven Sep 18, 2014 8:22 AM
    The increase in U.S. household earnings in 2013 was centered in 14 states, indicating the improvement was limited. Median income climbed 0.6 percent to $52,250 after adjusting for inflation, according to a report from the Census Bureau today using new data from the American Community Survey.

     
  • Scott air base finalist for new support center Sep 18, 2014 8:44 AM
    An Air Force base in southwestern Illinois has been named one of 10 finalists for a newly created installation and mission support center. Scott Air Force base just east of St. Louis should know in January if it’s chosen for the center that will report to the Scott-based Air Force Materiel Command, the Belleville News-Democrat reported Wednesday.The number of jobs potentially created by the new center was not immediately released.

     
  • Sony wants to create Netflix of video games Sep 18, 2014 8:19 AM
    Sony Corp. plans to boost cloud- based gaming by creating a mass-market streaming service similar to Netflix Inc.’s as the PlayStation maker tries to rebound from a projected $2.1 billion annual loss. The company wants its online game service to also work with Internet-connected TVs made by other manufacturers.

     
  • Dunkin’ Donuts tests recyclable plastic cups as foam loses favor Sep 18, 2014 8:18 AM
    Dunkin’ Donuts, looking to phase out its signature foam cups, is testing recyclable-plastic versions to see if they can withstand temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit while helping preserve the environment. Stores recently started using polypropylene hot-coffee cups in about 100 locations in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts and California.

     
  • U.S. to train veterans to install solar panels Sep 18, 2014 8:18 AM
    The U.S. will train at least 50,000 veterans to become solar panel installers in the next six years, the White House said Thursday. The jobs training program is among a host of initiatives the White House says will cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 300 million tons through 2030, plus save billions of dollars on energy bills for homeowners and businesses.

     
  • FedEx joins UPS hiring staff for e-commerce surge Sep 18, 2014 8:18 AM
    Tens of thousands more workers will don UPS brown and FedEx purple this holiday season, a measure of precaution ahead of an anticipated jump in year-end e-commerce growth.This year UPS is hiring as many as 95,000 seasonal workers and FedEx Corp. is taking on at least 50,000 more.

     
  • Horizon stockholders approve Vidara acquisition Sep 18, 2014 10:18 AM
    Deerfield-basedHorizon Pharma stockholders approved the company’s acquisition of Vidara Therapeutics, opening the company to move its headquarters to Ireland.

     
  • Gallagher acquires Hagedorn & Co. Sep 18, 2014 10:18 AM
    Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. said it has acquired Hagedorn & Company in New York, New York. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

     
  • Amazon unveils new tablets for kids, readers, business Sep 18, 2014 10:55 AM
    Amazon.com Inc. introduced five new Kindle models, from a device aimed at children to a jumbo-sized version for office workers, as the Web retailer seeks to attract more media-consuming customers.The new $99 Kindle Fire HD, which Amazon describes as the “most powerful tablet under $100,” was unveiled along with a $149 Kids Edition, which Amazon will replace even if it’s broken, the company said in a statement yesterday.

     
  • Romanucci & Blandin promotes Erin Calandriello to associate attorney Sep 18, 2014 3:44 PM
    Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, a leading personal injury and civil trial practice law firm in Chicago, appoints Park Ridge native Erin Calandriello to associate attorney.

     
  • Mueller names Robert Cronin as Business Valuation Group director Sep 18, 2014 3:34 PM
    Mueller, a CPA and management consulting firm, names Robert E. Cronin as director of the firm's Business Valuation Group.

     
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