Under the Hood: Getting more life out of your wiper blades

Business / Business News /

Q: My windshield wiper blades do a lot of shimmying and make a heck of a noise. This is likely because I have to park outside, and the wiper blades are exposed to the sun and elements. I do change the blades yearly, but I'd like to know what types of blades are best at maintaining their flexibility and work most quietly.

-- Mason W.

A: Wiper ...Read more

Google will expand finance team to Chicago, adding 'hundreds' of jobs

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Google plans to create "hundreds" of new jobs in Chicago this year, expanding the office it already calls its Midwest headquarters.

The tech giant employs more than 1,000 people at its Chicago office, which opened as a sales outpost in 2000 and has grown to include engineers and other tech workers. The new jobs are a result of the ...Read more

Rivian, perhaps the Tesla of trucks, lands $700 million Amazon-led investment

Business / Business News /

Rivian, the electric truck startup, received a major boost Friday with the announcement of a $700 million investment round led by Amazon.

The nascent manufacturer, which debuted its prototype all-electric truck and SUV models at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, is gearing up to begin building the vehicles at the shuttered former ...Read more

A leaner Sears emerges from bankruptcy, but can it survive?

Business / Business News /

In some ways, the "new" Sears has a lot in common with the company that filed for bankruptcy protection in October.

Its largest shareholder is now its owner. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved a $5.2 billion bid by Sears Chairman Edward Lampert to buy the company through his hedge fund, ESL Investments, ...Read more

The Week Ahead: Come into the Fed's light

Business / Business News /

Watching the Federal Reserve shift it's stance on the American economy is like watching ice melt. It just happens right before your eyes.

Investors will be looking at it on Wednesday in the week ahead. That's when the central bank releases minutes from its meeting last month.

While it was a meeting at which the Fed did not make changes to its ...Read more

Amazon lets amateurs publish custom Alexa apps to reach broad audiences

Business / Business News /

Amazon is enlisting customers to create voice-controlled games, broadcast lectures and sermons, and turn blogs into audio presentations available to anyone, through its growing universe of Alexa-enabled speaker-and-microphone devices.

The move, rolled out this week, represents a potentially significant advancement for voice-first computing and ...Read more

Like the dinosaurs, super-jumbo jets were displaced by smaller and more nimble competitors

Business / Business News /

With seating for up to 800 passengers between two decks, Airbus' A380 super-jumbo jet was envisioned in 2000 as a flagship aircraft for the European company, offering a luxurious experience for long-distance flights.

But over time, smaller twin-engine planes became more fuel efficient and started handling longer, transoceanic routes.

On ...Read more

How Michael Jordan became a brand

Business / Business News /

Michael Jordan remains the OG signature shoe king 16 years after his last NBA game and 21 years after his last championship.

His Air Jordan brand, introduced by the Chicago Bulls superstar in 1984 and launched by Nike in 1985, created the basketball sneaker branding market. In fiscal 2018, Nike revenue from the Jordan Brand line hit nearly $2.9...Read more

Auto review: Mercedes A220 asks 'Who wants a $48K compact sedan?'

Business / Business News /

In a choice that oozes sincerity if not finely honed customer research, Mercedes-Benz's marketing team decided the secret to selling more small vehicles to Americans was to make them look more like traditional sedans.

That's the origin story for the 2019 Mercedes A220 4Matic sedan, which offers a more conventional, upright profile than the ...Read more

Auto review: Nissan's Armada big sport utility has room for up to eight, starts at $46,790

Business / Business News /

The Nissan Armada full-size sport utility, now in its second generation, returns for 2019 with a few updates, including new standard safety technology.

Now included on all trim levels are Rear Door Alert, Intelligent Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking and Intelligent Forward Collision Warning.

There are four trim levels for 2019: SV (...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: Amazon's pullout from New York shows that it misplayed a bad, and expensive, hand

Business / Business News /

Well, that should show them.

Stung by intensifying opposition to a $3-billion incentive handout from New York city and state, Amazon on Thursday abruptly canceled its plans to build a new half-headquarters complex in the New York City borough of Queens.

The outcome is shaping up as a disaster -- but arguably for Amazon more than New York. It ...Read more

US and Chinese officials meet in Beijing for last-ditch effort to end trade war

Business / Business News /

BEIJING -- American and Chinese officials met in Beijing on Thursday for high-level trade talks in an effort to reach a deal to end a bruising trade war, after President Trump told reporters that talks were "going along very well."

U.S. tariffs on $200 million in Chinese goods are due to rise from 10 percent to 25 percent if there is no deal by...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Another desirable feature of a retirement plan: A set-aside

Business / Business News /

A recent column I wrote on retirement ("What should you look for in a retirement plan?") indicated that in order to assure that a retiree will not run out of money at an advanced age -- a primary retirement objective -- most plans should contain an annuity.

In this column I will discuss a second major objective of retirement plans that is often...Read more

Illinois House votes to raise minimum wage to $15 by 2025; Gov. J.B. Pritzker expected to sign it

Business / Business News /

Illinois Democrats on Thursday voted to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025, a move that will give Gov. J.B. Pritzker an early political victory, grant pay raises to workers and upset businesses across the state.

Under the plan, the Illinois minimum wage would first rise from $8.25 per hour to $9.25 on Jan. 1, then gradually ...Read more

Emanuel and Pritzker write to Amazon: 'You should take another look at Chicago'

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker sent a joint letter to Amazon on Thursday, asking them to reconsider Chicago after the online behemoth announced it wouldn't locate a 25,000-job headquarters in New York City.

The two reached out despite Amazon's statement that it will not search for a new location. Instead, ...Read more

EPA rolls out plan to deal with toxic chemicals in water

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency outlined a national plan Thursday to deal with public health risks of pollution caused by a family of chemicals used in many household products, including those produced by Minnesota-based 3M Co.

Drinking water and groundwater pollution caused by perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl ...Read more

Expensive loans to desperate people built this $90 billion industry

Business / Business News /

NEW YORK -- During the recent government shutdown, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross wondered aloud why financially stressed federal workers didn't just "get a loan."

A wealthy private equity investor, Ross faced excoriation. But the underlying question remains, even with a second shutdown less likely to occur. For Americans with limited ...Read more

Treasury Department says fewer refunds better for US taxpayers

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Treasury Department is defending the declining numbers of tax refunds being issued so far this year, saying that taxpayers already saw the benefits of the new tax law in their paychecks.

The number of tax refunds issued so far fell nearly 16 percent to 11.4 million, compared with 13.5 million at the same point in the tax ...Read more

Singles who own homes may be more attractive to potential partners

Business / Business News /

Forget cheesy pickup lines. The sexiest thing you can say to a potential mate in 2019? "I own my own house."

A recent survey suggests that owning a house makes you more attractive to potential mates.

Conducted by real estate listings site, the study finds that nearly 60 percent of millennial singles agreed that homeownership boosts...Read more

Amazon cancels plan to create a New York headquarters

Business / Business News / Inc. has dropped New York City as one of its new headquarters locations and is not searching for a replacement, it said Thursday, scrapping its plan in response to push back from locals who didn't want the online retail giant to reap government subsidies or cause a rise in housing prices.

The Seattle-based company had conducted a ...Read more