Wells Fargo's sales tactics are reportedly under investigation

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Aggressive sales tactics at Wells Fargo Bank, already the subject of a lawsuit filed by Los Angeles' city attorney, appear to have drawn the attention of federal regulators.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the San Francisco Federal Reserve are probing the bank's practices, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday...Read more

Why IMF giving the yuan reserve-currency status is a major victory for China

Business / Business News /

The International Monetary Fund's decision to add the Chinese yuan to its basket of elite global currencies gives China a significant boost -- as well as increased pressures -- as it seeks to expand its international influence and rival the global economic order long dominated by the American dollar.

No one expects the Chinese currency to ...Read more

Black Friday protests cost Chicago Mag Mile stores 25-50 percent of sales

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Activists who blocked the entrances to stores on Chicago's North Michigan Avenue on Black Friday to protest the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white cop may have split opinions with their tactics.

But their goal of forcing retailers to suffer economic pain on what's historically the busiest shopping day of the year was a ...Read more

Cyber Monday: Your boss is watching you shop and is probably OK with it

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- It's Cyber Monday, and much of your workday has been spent clicking through 50-percent-off offers on winter sweaters. Is your boss watching?

Chances are good that your holiday deal-seeking is not going unnoticed at work, even as employers become more relaxed about letting workers shop online on company time, a recent survey shows.

...Read more

Ford: UAW contract results in $600M 4Q charge

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DETROIT -- Ford's new four-year contract with the UAW union may appear rich but it increases labor costs by less than 1.5 percent a year, the automaker's CEO, Mark Fields, said Monday on a conference call with analysts.

There are, however, big onetime costs associated with the contract, such as $8,500 signing bonuses for 52,900 workers, which ...Read more

Tribune Publishing denies rumor of sale started by Rupert Murdoch tweet

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LOS ANGELES -- Tribune Publishing Co. on Monday denied a rumor started by media mogul Rupert Murdoch that the news organization was on the verge of being sold, saying it is "not engaged in discussion or a process to sell the company."

Tribune Publishing, which owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers, sent a ...Read more goes down for an hour on Cyber Monday

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Target's website crashed Monday morning as the retailer coped with high traffic volume on the day billed as the busiest for online shopping.

The company offered 15 percent off all goods on its website, a first, and free shipping on all orders Monday.

"Both traffic and order volumes are exceeding Target's Thursday Black Friday ...Read more

Amazon shows off drone it's developing for deliveries

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SEATTLE -- Just in time to grab headlines for Cyber Monday, Amazon released a video showing footage of a prototype of the drones it is developing to deliver packages.

The video is hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, one of the stars of the BBC's "Top Gear" automobile show who is now working on a new program for Amazon Studios. Clarkson narrates a scene ...Read more

Beam Suntory sells sherry and brandy brands for $291 million

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CHICAGO -- Beam Suntory is selling its Spanish brandy and sherry businesses to the Philippine brandy giant Emperador for $291 million, Beam announced Monday.

Privately held Beam Suntory, which is based in suburban Chicago and has made a killing in the booming whiskey market, says it believes the Fundador, Harveys, Terry and Tres Cepas brands ...Read more

Medtronic recalls InSync III pacemakers due to battery issue

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Medtronic has recalled nearly 97,000 advanced InSync III pacemakers for treating heart failure, saying the globally distributed devices may have batteries that put out less power than they should.

In letters published over the extended holiday break, regulators in the U.S. and Germany said at least 22,000 of the battery-powered ...Read more

Cyber Monday sales on record pace, to crack $3 billion

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This Cyber Monday could be the largest online sales day ever, according to early numbers from Adobe Systems Inc.

As of Monday morning, online sales totaled $490 million, 14 percent higher than the same period last year. Adobe expects sales to reach a record $3 billion for the first time ever.

That number would be a 50 percent increase from ...Read more

Holiday shopping season starts with a slump

Business / Business News /

Sales at retail stores dropped on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a sign that more consumers opted to shop earlier and go online for holiday gifts.

Combined sales for those two days, which have traditionally kicked off the holiday shopping season, totaled about $12.1 billion, according to preliminary data from ShopperTrak. That's down from $12.3...Read more

Cyber Monday traffic expected to dip

Business / Business News /

Fewer consumers are expected to shop online on Cyber Monday than they did a year ago, but the post-Thanksgiving weekday party is hardly over for e-commerce sites.

The National Retail Federation estimates 121 million shoppers will browse for digital deals Monday, about 5 percent fewer than a year ago and a five-year low.

Cyber Monday originated...Read more

FDA approved almost all medical devices in the last year

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The Food and Drug Administration says it approved 98 percent of all high-risk medical devices submitted during the most recent fiscal year, the highest rate in at least 15 years.

The list includes heart valves, cancer tests, gastric balloons, spinal implants and other devices used by doctors and hospitals around the country.

The 98 percent ...Read more

Microsoft Office getting new business tools

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Microsoft is trying to convince businesses that Office is more than just Word and PowerPoint.

The Seattle-area company is introducing a new, gold-plated offering to its Web-based Office 365 suite. The new package, set for release Tuesday, will incorporate new conferencing, calling and management tools to the Skype talk and chat ...Read more

Tribune Publishing statement: Not in discussions to sell company

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CHICAGO -- Seeking to quash speculation, Tribune Publishing sent a message to employees Monday denying reports that the company was about to be bought and the Los Angeles Times spun off.

Reports of a pending sale were fueled by a tweet Friday from News Corporation's Rupert Murdoch. Tribune Publishing's statement, which was also filed with the ...Read more

Getting Started: How to protect yourself from online shopping scams during the holidays

Business / Business News /

With more people buying gifts online over the holidays, the potential for fraud is high.

"Scammers know people are looking for good deals and trying to fulfill their holiday wish lists, often without a lot of time," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance.

A lot is at stake. On Cyber Monday alone -- the ...Read more

On Philanthropy: How to succeed in the giving season

Business / Business News /

During the holiday season, our mailboxes are overflowing with catalogs, holiday cards -- and requests for donations. At this time of year, when people are feeling most generous, nonprofits work hard to raise needed funds.

Although important to nonprofit budgets, most year-end giving is transactional rather than transformational. Donors give ...Read more

Longer waits at the checkout counter? Blame credit cards with chip technology

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- It's a few days before Thanksgiving, and so many shoppers have queued up that their carts are backed into the aisles at a Los Angeles-area Trader Joe's.

Part of the checkout crush comes from the sheer number of people, several with baskets laden with fixings for Turkey Day feasts. But in a few lines, shoppers have had to insert ...Read more

Gap says audits show its workers get equal pay for the same work

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Since the California Fair Pay Act was signed into law in October, companies have been scrambling to check their books, review their hiring statistics and get legal guidance to navigate what's being called the toughest equal wage statute in the country.

The new law is turning the spotlight on hundreds of companies where men and ...Read more