JUNFU HAN/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Push to pass federal semiconductor funding picks up steam

Business / Business News /

Advocates for the semiconductor chip industry blanketed Capitol Hill offices this week to push for passage of $52 billion in subsidies amid an ongoing global shortage.

Their efforts appear to be paying off: More than three dozen bipartisan members of Congress from auto manufacturing states urged House leadership on Thursday to pass funding for ...Read more


UnitedHealthcare pushing online visits with new 'virtual-first' health plan

Business / Business News /

UnitedHealthcare has launched what it calls a "virtual-first" health plan where patients start with online health care providers before moving to in-person visits as needed.

The Minnetonka-based carrier, which is the nation's largest health insurer,announcedthe health plan this weekas a way to reduce costs at a time when the pandemic has ...Read more

Smiley N. Pool/10053254P/TNS

Texas regulators: Power plant operators must make 'best efforts' to fix issues that led to grid failures

Business / Business News /

Operators of power plants and transmission lines that are part of the Texas electric grid have until Dec. 1 to make their "best efforts" to fix known problems that led to failures during last February's deadly freeze and to implement decade-old winterization recommendations that state regulators largely disregarded until this year.

That's the ...Read more

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Hot, hot, hot ... warm: SoCal home values hit new record, but price rises are slowing

Business / Business News /

Southern California home prices set another record last month, but the market is cooling despite the all-time price high.

The region's six-county median sales price — the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — climbed 1.3% from August to $688,500 in September, according to data released Wednesday from real estate ...Read more


US existing-homes sales rise 7%, the most in a year

Business / Business News /

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose in September by the most in a year, suggesting a slight easing in home-price growth and lower mortgage rates a month earlier provided a tailwind for demand.

Contract closings increased 7% from the prior month, the most since September 2020, to an annualized 6.29 million, figures from the National ...Read more

Carla Roman/TNS

Real estate Q&A: What can neighbors do about hoarder's unkempt home?

Business / Business News /

Q: A resident of our community is a hoarder and does not maintain his home. We are concerned that the condition of his home will attract pests and cause other problems. The association’s management company sent him letters, but nothing came of it, and the problem is getting worse. Can anything be done? —Brett

A: Dealing with this situation ...Read more

When truckers voted to unionize, their employer retaliated with illegal layoffs, judge rules

Business / Business News /

Weeks after a group of port truck drivers voted to unionize, they opened their mailboxes to find termination notices from their employer. That letter was a violation of federal labor law, a judge ruled Tuesday in a decision that will reinstate the terminated drivers with back pay and interest.

The drivers worked for Universal Intermodal, an ...Read more

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For loyal Portillo's customers, IPO puts a new item on the menu: shares in a favorite company

Business / Business News /

Portillo’s is expected to go public Thursday and raise $405.4 million with its initial public offering.

The Oak Brook, Illinois-based fast casual chain offered nearly 20.3 million shares of its stock at $20 per share — a little less than the cost of three Italian beef sandwiches, Portillo’s said in a news release Wednesday evening.

...Read more

JANE TYSKA/San Jose Mercury News/TNS

Homebuyer 'love letters' may stir bias. (But they often work)

Business / Business News /

Several years ago, Kristine Chadwick and her family were trying to buy a house in Eugene, Oregon. The market was competitive, so her agent suggested she write a letter to the seller, describing her husband, three kids, two dogs and one cat, and why she wanted to raise her family in the house. Hers was not the highest bid, but she got the house ...Read more

Alan Berner/The Seattle Times/TNS

For vendors of Seattle's Pike Place Market, COVID was yet another test of survival

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE — Like many vendors at Pike Place Market, Scott Chang isn't sure when business will resume its pre-COVID normal.

True, this summer brought welcome crowds of tourists and locals to the open-air Seattle landmark. Sales at See Lee Gardens, the flower business owned by Chang's family, are nearly back where they were before the pandemic ...Read more

Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Insurance focused on virtual visits? The pros and cons of a new twist in health plans

Business / Business News /

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, people often relied on telemedicine for doctor visits. Now, insurers are betting that some patients liked it enough to embrace new types of health coverage that encourages video visits — or outright insists on them.

Priority Health in Michigan, for example, offers coverage requiring online visits first ...Read more

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Tesla still not giving many details about HQ move to Austin

Business / Business News /

Tesla held its third-quarter earnings call with shareholders on Wednesday — but anyone hoping the automaker would provide more details about moving its headquarters to Austin was likely disappointed.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Oct. 7 that Tesla will relocate its corporate headquarters to Austin, but gave few hints as to what that would...Read more

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe/TNS

Bitcoin surges to all-time high in crypto's 'validating moment'

Business / Business News /

Bitcoin rallied to a record, topping $66,000 for the first time as optimism surged for greater mainstream acceptance in the wake of the successful launch of the inaugural exchange-traded fund for U.S. investors.

While the historically volatile digital currency spent recent days hovering in a narrow range as it approached its previous April ...Read more

Philicia Endelman/Navitas/Navitas/TNS

California semiconductor maker goes public in billion-dollar deal amid chip shortage

Business / Business News /

An California semiconductor company took its stock public Wednesday — straight into the maw of a global chip shortage that could pose either a threat or an opportunity.

The company is Navitas, based in El Segundo. Its stock offering created a company with an enterprise value of about $1 billion and brought in $320 million in cash. Navitas ...Read more

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Michael Hiltzik: The IRS wanted a new tool to go after tax cheats. Republicans and bankers blocked it

Business / Business News /

Here's a handy rule for anyone struggling to decode policy debates in Washington: If the GOP is throwing a fit about something, you can be sure their complaints are bogus.

Latest case in point: a provision in the Build Back Better bill, the Biden administration's omnibus spending package, that would give the Internal Revenue Service more of ...Read more

Consumer Confidential: Facebook, fooling no one, may be going for a new name

Business / Business News /

There are two things wrong with Facebook's reported plan to change its name to better reflect its role in the high-tech "metaverse."

First, the metaverse? Seriously?

Second, who do they think they're fooling?

It's still Facebook, for goodness sake, that monstrous, monopolistic company that wants to undermine your privacy at every turn, spread...Read more

Vladimir Fomin/Dreamstime/TNS

Foul, moldy smells from AC vents threaten health of Toyota owners, lawsuits claim

Business / Business News /

Foul odors reminiscent of urine or sweaty socks are exposing people in older Toyota vehicles to health and safety risks, a new federal lawsuit claims.

The odors result from a design defect that allows condensation to accumulate in hidden parts of the Toyota vehicles’ air conditioning systems and cultivate microbes, bacteria, mold and fungus, ...Read more

Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Susan Tompor: How to find gifts -- and joy -- if a toy shortage hits during the holidays

Business / Business News /

The holiday shopping frenzy has always been driven by FOMO. But this year, the fear of missing out is colliding smack dab into the fear of running out.

The ongoing message we're hearing a month before Thanksgiving is buy now before it's too late. A QVC host in mid-October proclaimed that products will be sparse across the board for all ...Read more

Dreamstime/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Tech Q&A: Making it harder for spammers to learn more about you

Business / Business News /

Spam keeps changing and several readers wonder what to do about it. Sharon Gresham of Sarasota, Florida, says she's begun receive e-mails in a foreign language, and trying to block them hasn't worked. Ann Donovan of Colorado Springs, Colorado, says she's getting a steady stream of what appear to be scam e-mails from someone named Elene, who she ...Read more

Unionization could help home health care workers, experts say

Business / Business News /

For Susie Young, the days before she was a unionized caregiver weren't ones to cheer about.

"Before the union came in, we had nothing," she said. "No training. Forget about a paid holiday or vacation. ... There's many workers in this country today that's where they are."

Young, 73, lives and works in Spokane, Washington, where she has been a ...Read more