Unemployment and job growth show strong improvement, but coronavirus darkens the outlook

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. economy added a larger-than-expected 4.8 million jobs in June despite the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, registering solid gains for the second straight month after suffering near-Great Depression losses in the spring, the government reported Thursday.

Reflecting the June increase, the nation's unemployment level fell to 11...Read more

Consumer Confidential: Fake reviews should stay online, researchers say. I'm not so sure

Business / Business News /

Perhaps it was inevitable that in this strange era of "alternative facts" and fake claims of "fake news," someone would make the case for why bogus online reviews are a good thing.

Still, that anyone would make such an argument is jarring, especially when it comes from scholars writing in an academic journal.

The study is titled, "A Tangled ...Read more

Silverado edges out Ram in the truck wars as automakers report dismal overall sales

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DETROIT -- The Chevy Silverado is keeping the ever-encroaching Ram at bay in the ongoing truck wars, despite overall dismal industry auto sales in the second quarter due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, many automakers reported quarterly sales results that reflected the impact of idled vehicle production for most of the quarter...Read more

Some homeowners struggled to pay PACE improvement loans. The coronavirus made it harder

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LOS ANGELES -- It wasn't until the work was done that Marcelino and Josefina Rodriguez said they learned the truth.

They had been signed up for a roughly $45,000 PACE home improvement loan at nearly 10% interest -- even though they said a woman working with the contractor told them their new roof and water heater would be free through a ...Read more

New trade agreement means steep learning curve for auto industry

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Imagine being asked to bake a cake but not being told what kind of cake you'll be baking and knowing you'll be judged on the results.

You might know you need milk, eggs and flour, but whether the cake needs to be chocolate or carrot is pretty important, too, and will change what you pick up during your shopping trip.

That's how ...Read more

Ford Motor Co. partners with Disney on Ford Bronco reveal

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DETROIT -- Disney will partner with Ford Motor Co. on the upcoming Ford Bronco reveal, the automaker confirmed Thursday.

Ford will unveil the all-new SUV "across Disney's broadcast, cable, digital and streaming properties" on July 13, Ford said in a news release.

"Three custom 3-minute films will air on ABC, ESPN and National Geographic, in ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Who has to pay for place to stay while rental home is tented for termites?

Business / Business News /

Q: We rent a single-family home and just found out that it needs to be tented for termites early next month. The landlord told us she would reduce our rent for the time we need to stay in a hotel. Money is tight, and a few days of rent reduction will not cover the cost of a hotel and meals. We want her to pay for these too. This is a massive ...Read more

Grindr's new owners are straight. They say that's OK

Business / Business News /

The international ownership saga of America's most popular gay dating app, Grindr, came to a close last month when a group of American investors took control of the West Hollywood company.

China-based Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. bought Grindr in 2016 and had hopes of taking the company public in a large stock offering until the U.S. government ...Read more

US June jobs rise above-forecast 4.8 million; claims elevated

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The rebound in the U.S. labor market accelerated in June as broader reopenings spurred more hiring last month, though filings for unemployment benefits remained elevated last week as coronavirus cases picked up.

Payrolls rose by 4.8 million in June after an upwardly revised 2.7 million gain in the prior month, according to a Labor Department ...Read more

Americans face 25% jump in power bills, adding to summer of woe

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As the U.S. faces a blisteringly hot summer, millions of people already reeling from the coronavirus's economic fallout are about to face sharp increases in electric bills that may drive some to the brink of financial ruin.

With soaring temperatures expected in July and August, people stuck at home because they're unemployed or working remotely...Read more

House clears bill extending loan program for small businesses to Aug. 8

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WASHINGTON -- A day after the Senate passed a last-minute extension of the Paycheck Protection Program loan application deadline, the House did the same Wednesday, clearing the bill for the president.

Somewhat unexpectedly, the Senate by unanimous consent passed a bill on Tuesday from Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., extending the Small Business...Read more

United adding 25,000 flights in August despite spikes in COVID-19 cases

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CHICAGO -- United Airlines plans to fly about three times more routes in August than it did last month as passengers slowly return to the skies, even as the number of new COVID-19 cases across the U.S. rises.

Chicago-based United will have about 60% fewer flights on its schedule in August compared with the same month last year. But travelers ...Read more

Film in the time of corona: LA shoots restart

Business / Business News /

Even as a rebound in COVID-19 cases brings new business closures, the gears of Hollywood's film industry have started to turn as filming resumes on the streets of Los Angeles.

Since June 19, FilmLA, the nonprofit group that handles film permits for the city and L.A. County, said it has received about 14 film permit applications per day and ...Read more

Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google Chiefs to Testify in Congress

Business / Business News /

The chief executive officers of Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc., Inc. and Apple Inc. have agreed to testify before a congressional panel investigating competition issues in the technology industry, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee overseeing the probe.

Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai, Jeff Bezos and Tim ...Read more

American Airlines flights are about to get busier, but will they be safe?

Business / Business News /

Boarding a flight at Miami International Airport was a breeze March through June, with waiting times at security checkpoints as low as two minutes, mostly empty hallways and half a dozen rows of free seating at many terminals.

But that's about to change, as American Airlines -- the airport's largest carrier -- pushes to satisfy flight demand ...Read more

FAA concludes three days of test flights of Boeing's 737 Max

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Testing of the 737 Max jetliner's revised flight-control systems by U.S. regulators and Boeing Co. wrapped up Wednesday, laying the foundation for the plane's possible return to service later this year.

The tests concluded an important milestone in assessing the grounded aircraft's safety, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement...Read more

Ford confirms it is ending production of Lincoln Continental forever

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DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. confirmed on Thursday that it plans to end production of the luxury Lincoln Continental sedan in the U.S. at the end of 2020. A 2021 model year vehicle will be offered to the China market before the sedan says goodbye forever.

"It will end for both China and the U.S. at the end of the year," Angie Kozleski, Lincoln ...Read more

Tesla battery cooling system is subject of federal safety probe

Business / Business News /

Federal safety officials are probing allegations of defective cooling systems installed in early-model Tesla vehicles.

Tesla installed cooling tubes prone to leaks in Model S vehicles beginning in 2012, according to internal emails cited by Business Insider last week. The Times reviewed copies of the emails and other documentation that show the...Read more

Negotiators for writers and studios reach tentative deal on new contract

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- The Writers Guild of America and the major studios reached an agreement in principle on a proposed new contract, averting a showdown that many thought was inevitable before the coronavirus pandemic roiled Hollywood, said three people familiar with the negotiations who were not authorized to comment.

Negotiators came to a ...Read more

Nordstrom makes sharp staff cuts as it grapples with pandemic

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Nordstrom is laying off thousands of workers, including a large number from its corporate operations in Seattle, as it copes with pandemic-related losses, according to a former employee and reports in a trade journal.

A Nordstrom spokesperson acknowledged Monday that the Seattle-based retailer is "realigning and reducing our ...Read more