Verizon, striking unions reach tentative agreement

Business / Business News /

PHILADELPHIA -- Verizon Communications Inc. and its striking unions have reached a tentative agreement, U.S. Secretary of Thomas Perez said Friday.

The company and the unions -- the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers -- are now putting the four-year agreement into writing, said Perez, who ...Read more

Why a Fed interest rate hike next month is looking increasingly likely

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- With the economy's prospects brightening after a bleak winter, Federal Reserve policymakers are increasingly signaling they are ready to nudge up a key interest rate next month.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen added to the speculation on Friday, saying that if the economy continued to improve as she expected, then it would be appropriate ...Read more

Federal assessment: Fracking off Calif. coast does not cause significant environmental impact

Business / Business News /

SAN DIEGO -- An environmental assessment from two federal agencies released Friday determined that fracking off the coast of California causes no significant impact, thus lifting a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing that was instituted earlier this year.

"The comprehensive analysis shows that these practices, conducted according to permit ...Read more

Almost 100,000 in US now work for Chinese firms

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- In Miami, a luxury condo tower called One Thousand Museum, is rising over Biscayne Bay. Its contractor is a Chinese firm, the largest builder in the world.

In the tiny North Carolina town of Tar Heel, the Smithfield Foods Packing Co., the world's biggest slaughterhouse that often smells of pig manure, belongs to a giant Chinese ...Read more

Senator calls for investigation of OxyContin's manufacturer

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- A U.S. senator on Friday called for federal investigations of OxyContin's manufacturer in response to a Los Angeles Times report that found the bestselling painkiller wears off early in many patients, exposing them to increased risk of addiction.

Sen. Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat whose state has been hit hard by ...Read more

Air Force says Boeing tanker program faces further delays

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- The Air Force said Friday that Boeing's KC-46 tanker program, already late and over budget, faces a further serious delay of six months to the initial tanker deliveries -- and an additional nine months beyond that to achieve fully operational tankers.

Brig. Gen. Duke Richardson, executive officer for the Air Force's tanker program, ...Read more

Scientific instrument firm Thermo Fisher to buy FEI for $4.2B

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SEATTLE -- Leading scientific instrument company Thermo Fisher Scientific announced Friday it will buy Hillsboro, Ore.-based FEI Co. for about $4.2 billion in cash.

FEI's stock price shot up more than 14 percent Friday to about $107.85 per share after the news was announced. Thermo Fisher will pay $107.50 per share for the company.

The deal is...Read more

Conn. bond commission approves $22 million package for world's largest hedge fund

Business / Business News /

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The Connecticut State Bond Commission approved $22 million in grants and loans Friday for the world's largest hedge fund -- despite bipartisan complaints that the wealthy company doesn't need help at a time when state employees are being laid off.

The commission voted 7 -2 to award the package to Bridgewater Associates, a ...Read more

Shareholders approve $32 billion Baxalta-Shire merger

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CHICAGO -- Shareholders in Chicago-area drug company Baxalta and Irish firm Shire voted Friday to approve the $32 billion merger of the two firms.

The combined company, which will be run from Shire's Dublin headquarters, aims to be a world leader in treating hemophilia and other rare diseases, and will benefit from Ireland's lower corporate tax...Read more

Ulta stock surges on reported sales, earnings growth

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Ulta Beauty's first-quarter earnings, including the steepest sales growth the Chicago-area company has seen in a decade, looked attractive to Wall Street.

The beauty retailer's stock, which has risen nearly 51 percent over the past 12 months, hit $237.41 Friday morning, up about 11 percent from Thursday's close. Earnings were ...Read more

US economy grew more last quarter than initially thought, boosting chances of Fed rate hike

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Economic growth at the start of the year wasn't as bad as initially estimated, boosting the chances that Federal Reserve policymakers will raise a key interest rate next month.

The nation's total economic output -- also known as gross domestic product -- increased at a 0.8 percent annual rate from January through March, the ...Read more

The Week Ahead: All's well for long-term investor OPEC

Business / Business News /

As any long-term investor knows, patience can pay, but it can be painful waiting.

Crude oil is close to a seven-month high as the world's biggest club of energy producers meets in the week ahead. On Thursday, oil ministers from OPEC's 13 member countries are scheduled to meet in Vienna to talk about oil production. The cartel is unlikely to ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Will Google's move banning payday loan ads be the end of such loans?

Business / Business News /

Google grabbed headlines by announcing a ban on payday loan ads starting July 13.

Quick-fix loans charging triple-digit rates seem to be viewed by Google and others now with the same social stigma as other dangerous products banned from advertising, such as cocaine, crystal meth and cigarettes.

So can the payday loan see any kind of redemption...Read more

On Philanthropy: Doing well and doing good: 7 steps for strategic corporate philanthropy

Business / Business News /

Last year, U.S. corporations donated nearly $18 billion to nonprofits -- and billions more if you include the value of employee volunteerism.

Successful companies of all sizes now recognize that philanthropy is a key component of corporate citizenship and overall business strategy. Too often, corporate philanthropy is random and uncoordinated. ...Read more

Consumer Confidential: A pain-in-the-neck change from organizers of the 'Oldchella' concert

Business / Business News /

It's easy to snicker about the geriatric nature of a music festival featuring Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters. But the October summit of rock royalty in the Southern California desert is a serious business for concertgoers, who are paying big bucks for tickets.

It's also -- how to put this ...Read more

Clinton lurks in shadows when sparring with Sanders on big banks

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton says that she, too, would break up banks. If necessary.

"But I go further," she said at a Democratic debate in April, "because I want the law to extend to those that are part of the shadow-banking industry." This has been her consistent answer as Bernie Sanders defines his campaign in opposition to the largest ...Read more

Oil prices hit $50 a barrel, leaving some confident of further recovery

Business / Business News /

SAN DIEGO -- Oil prices, battered after a slump dating back to the summer of 2014, touched the $50 a barrel level for the first time in seven months Thursday.

The prices of West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude each fell slightly below $50 by the end of the trading day after some profit-taking by some investors, but reaching the $50 mark ...Read more

Uber, Lyft drivers safer than average American driver, report says

Business / Business News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- Drivers for ride-hailing services such as Uber, Lyft, and HopSkipDrive are generally safer than the average American driver, according to a new study by automotive analytics firm Zendrive and research firm Aite Group.

The research compared data collected anonymously from the smartphones of about 12,000 ride-hailing drivers ...Read more

Target says it has settled suit with girl attacked in Pittsburgh store

Business / Business News /

PITTSBURGH -- Target Corp. Thursday morning told a judge that it has reached a settlement with the family of a girl who was seriously injured when she was stabbed by a man in a Pittsburgh Target store in 2013, according to the judge's staff.

A civil suit involving allegations and cross-allegations about who was to blame in the March 25, 2013, ...Read more

Snapchat expands investor base as it grabs $1.3 billion in funding

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Snapchat Inc. has broadly expanded its shareholder base over the last year, going far beyond the few venture capitalists who bankrolled the Los Angeles firm when it was merely an app for sharing self-destructing photos.

Now operating a complex social media app that teenagers can't seem to look away from, Snapchat added close to ...Read more