Visa Inc. stake disclosed in mobile-payments company Square

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Visa Inc. took a significant stake in mobile-payments company Square Inc. prior to its initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The global credit card and financial services firm acquired some 4.19 million Class B shares in 2011 that do not publicly trade. It ...Read more

Shoppers buy more than expected in January, sending retail sales up 0.2 percent

Business / Business News /

Consumers indulged in more retail sales than expected in January, a positive sign for retailers after a disappointing holiday season.

Last month's sales climbed 0.2 percent to $449.9 billion from December, the Commerce Department said Friday. Wall Street analysts had predicted an increase of 0.1 percent.

Retail sales rose even higher, up 0.4 ...Read more

Kroger announces pharmacies to dispense Naloxone without prescription

Business / Business News /

CINCINNATI -- The Kroger Co.'s Cincinnati-Dayton Division announced Friday that it will make opioid overdose reversal medicine Naloxone available without a prescription at its 84 pharmacies in Ohio and 16 pharmacies in Northern Kentucky starting Monday.

The announcement also covers 112 pharmacies in Kroger's Columbus division, one pharmacy in ...Read more

Cold-Eeze CEO speaks about firm's new male sex drive pill

Business / Business News /

PHILADELPHIA -- Don't bother trying to tease Theodore Karkus, the chief executive of ProPhase Labs Inc., about his Philadelphia-area company's new product, a male enhancement dietary supplement, Legendz XL.

"The first thing I said in our product strategy meetings is, 'Anybody that is squeamish about talking about this product can leave the room...Read more

Auto review: 2016 Nissan Maxima straddles sedan side of sport, sophistication

Business / Business News /

The redesigned Nissan Maxima is like a new shoe. It looks sharp but feels better, and the more you wear it, the better it feels.

The Maxima is footwear that is both athletic and sophisticated, functional and stylish. You can schlep the kids in it, take it out for anniversary date night on the town, challenge its performance capabilities on the ...Read more

Auto review: Jaguar XF no longer just a fair-weather friend

Business / Business News /

Here's something you don't normally hear: "Hey, honey, it's snowing. Let's take the Jaguar."

Certainly, a couple years ago, it would have been imprudent. While Jaguars have prodigious grip under most circumstances, their rear-wheel drive configuration is less than perfect in wintry Northern climes. After all, when the weather turns bleak, one ...Read more

Under the Hood: OK to buy new tires at Costco?

Business / Business News /

Q: Our 2012 Lexus ES 350 has 35,000 miles on the odometer. At 25,000 miles, the dealership told me the tires needed to be replaced, but I declined. During the 30,000-mile service, done at a different dealership, the service adviser told me to replace the tires at the next service. To my eyes, the tires look fine, but ever since the weather ...Read more

Experts warn against long-term auto loan trend

Business / Business News /

After a year of record new-vehicle sales, automakers, dealers, and the banks and finance companies that issue car loans are jubilantly exchanging high-fives.

Analysts list several reasons for record sales of 17.5 million vehicles in 2015, including an improving economy and job market, low interest rates, cheap gas and growth in leasing.

New-...Read more

Motoring Q&A: Used car isn't living up to mileage expectations

Business / Business News /

Q: My wife and I recently purchased a 2007 Honda Fit with 103,000 miles on it. Unfortunately, the car gets crappy gas mileage: 22 miles per gallon in mostly city driving, 30 on the highway in warmer weather. The car appears to be in good overall condition, starts easily and runs smoothly. I've replaced the air filter and the spark plugs; neither...Read more

Auto review: 2016 Prius Four is a smarter, sleeker version of Toyota's aging hybrid

Business / Business News /

Back in the dark days of automotive history, fuel was cheap and plentiful and Detroit dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

Then the Prius came along, offering the first practical hybrid solution, and became the bestselling car in California.

Almost a decade later, fuel is cheap and plentiful again, and a changed world awaits the latest iteration of the ...Read more

The Week Ahead: Return to China

Business / Business News /

The more than 10 percent drop in the Standard & Poor's 500 index this year has been partially attributed to troubles China. For the past week, the market news out of China has been quiet. Not so in the week ahead.

After a weeklong Lunar New Year holiday that closed the Chinese stock market, it reopens confronting a deteriorating global appetite...Read more

Jarden set to report 4 percent sales increase

Business / Business News /

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Jarden Corp., the Boca Raton consumer products company that has agreed to merge with Newell Rubbermaid, reported preliminary 2015 net sales of about $8.6 billion, a 4 percent increase over the $8.3 billion reported in 2014.

Jarden said it would report final sales and earnings for the year at the end of February.

The ...Read more

Global stock index enters bear market territory

Business / Business News /

The world is in a bear market, or a plunge in stocks of 20 percent.

In the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index defy the typical bear definition, since the large companies within those indexes have fallen only about 14 percent from their highs hit in 2015.

The pure definition of a bear market is a decline ...Read more

Is the office losing its allure for finding love?

Business / Business News /

As swiping left or right becomes a dating norm, is there still an appetite for a good roll in the supply closet?

Half of business professionals say they have participated in a workplace romance, says Vault's 2016 office romance survey, down from 59 percent five years ago but an indication that the office remains a popular meet market.

...Read more

Yellen: Always some chance of a recession, but 'expansions don't die of old age'

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers Thursday that the central bank was studying the possibility of setting negative interest rates to boost the economy if needed, but she reiterated that the U.S. does not appear to be nearing a recession.

"There is always some chance of a recession in any year, but the evidence ...Read more

Microsoft rolls out dog-identifying photo tool

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Microsoft's latest trick: analyzing a photo to identify the dog breed of your canine companion.

The tool, released on Thursday, lives at and comes as a Web app or download for devices running Apple's iOS. It's the latest in Microsoft's campaign to advertise the potential of machine-learning research being done by a ...Read more

FDA panel recommends approval for copy of arthritis drug Remicade

Business / Business News /

A copy of a popular arthritis drug is one step closer to receiving regulatory approval, which could bring some financial relief to patients.

Celltrion, a South Korean company, has developed a knockoff of Johnson & Johnson's Remicade, which is used to treat autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammation of the digestive...Read more

Sears CEO owns majority stake in Sears Hometown and Outlet

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Sears Holdings CEO Edward Lampert now holds a majority stake in spun-off Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made on Thursday.

Lampert, his hedge fund ESL Investments and related companies' recent purchases now put the total number of shares they own at about 11.5 million, or 50....Read more

This online store is a mashup of Amazon meets Whole Foods

Business / Business News /

PHILADELPHIA -- Sam Wolf, 34, is founder and "chief wellness spreader" of LuckyVitamin in suburban Philadelphia. The third-generation family business started as a pharmacy, then became a health-foods store and now is a leading online retailer offering almost 37,000 products. The company has 200 employees and nearly $100 million in annual ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Questions about mortgage repayment as an investment

Business / Business News /

Questions from readers about why and how to pay off a mortgage early out-number those I receive on any other topic, including loan origination. Borrowers typically spend only a few weeks, at most a few months, acquiring a mortgage, but they usually have the mortgage for many years. During that period, their financial circumstances may change, ...Read more