Auto review: GMC Acadia AT4 befuddles, from the name to the features

Business / Business News /

2020 GMC Acadia AWD AT4: No, that doesn't designate four-cylinder automatic; it means sporty all-wheel-drive ruggedness.

Price: $46,330 as tested. Trailer package added $650; black paint, $495; Driver Alert Package featuring forward collision, lane keeping, emergency braking, and front pedestrian braking, $695. More below.

Conventional wisdom:...Read more

Bosses stretch the definition of who is 'essential' — and workers take the risk

Business / Business News /

"The bearer of this letter," the document says, "is providing life-sustaining and essential services."

That depends, of course, on how you define essential, a word some businesses are trying to stretch as far as they can.

Copies of the "travel authorization letter" were distributed to employees of Leslie's Poolmart Inc. to display if they're ...Read more

Trump gets the oil deal he wants by staying on the sidelines

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With Saudi Arabia and Russia agreeing on the contours of an unprecedented plan to slash crude output, President Donald Trump is on the verge of getting the global oil deal he wanted -- without taking steps to ratchet down U.S. production.

The tentative agreement -- which would be the largest-ever oil output cut agreed on by OPEC+ ministers -- ...Read more

Fed is seizing control of the entire US bond market

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The Federal Reserve is not leaving any corner of the U.S. bond market behind in this crisis.

There's no other way to interpret the central bank's sweeping measures announced Thursday, which together provide as much as $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. It will wade into the $3.9 trillion U.S. municipal-bond market to an ...Read more

Zoom security feature let unapproved users view meetings, researchers find

Business / Business News /

Zoom, the videoconferencing service that has exploded into the vacuum created by the COVID-19 outbreak, has endured the revelation of a string of privacy and security flaws in recent days. Now researchers have identified just such a flaw in a feature marketed specifically as a way to make meetings more secure.

Zoom said Wednesday it had fixed a...Read more

Universal Studios Hollywood to stay closed at least until May 31

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LOS ANGELES -- The coronavirus pandemic is forcing Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort to remain closed until at least May 31, extending the previous opening schedule by six weeks.

The theme parks closed March 14 and had previously announced they would remain closed until the end of March. Less than two weeks later, ...Read more

Senators want details from Amazon on firing of New York coronavirus protest organizer

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Was Christian Smalls fired from Amazon for violating a quarantine or because he helped organize a walkout to protest safety conditions at a New York warehouse where employees had been diagnosed with COVID-19?

Five U.S. senators sent Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos a series of questions in a letter Wednesday focusing on Smalls' dismissal, which he and ...Read more

Believe it or not, people are still booking cruises for next year

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The coronavirus pandemic left dozens of cruise ships temporarily stranded at sea, not allowed to dock because of onboard outbreaks of the deadly virus.

It happened with the Norwegian Jewel in the South Pacific, the Zaandam off the coast of Florida and the Grand Princess in the waters off Northern California, among several others.

Despite such ...Read more

White House weighs new panel to map post-virus economic recovery

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WASHINGTON -- The White House is considering whether to create a working group focused on reviving the U.S. economy after the coronavirus pandemic eases, and whether the panel should include representatives from the private sector.

The discussions are in their early stages, according to three people familiar with the matter. Administration ...Read more

With restaurants closed, a bacon backup is building and hog prices are plunging

Business / Business News /

Coronavirus has pulled the rug out from under demand for pork belly and ribs, driving hog prices to their lowest level in nearly two decades.

Amid simmering concerns the nation's meatpacking capacity could tighten as workers get sick and plants close, hog farmers now also face major losses on every pig they raise and sell.

About two-thirds of ...Read more

GM and Ventec get $489.4 million order from U.S. for 30,000 ventilators in coronavirus fight

Business / Business News /

Bothell, Wash.-based Ventec Life Systems saw the biggest single order for its portable VOCSN ventilator Wednesday when the federal government requested 30,000 of the life-sustaining machines for $489.4 million.

The Department of Health and Human Services placed the order through Ventec's partner, General Motors, which is to produce 6,132 ...Read more

Fearful of COVID-19, Amazon workers ask California to probe working conditions

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Workers at Amazon's Eastvale, Calif., fulfillment center filed complaints with California and Riverside County regulators Wednesday, asking for investigations into what they say are dangerous working conditions that pose a threat to public health during the coronavirus pandemic.

The fulfillment center was the first in Southern California to ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: Trump again attacks the U.S. Postal Service with lies

Business / Business News /

Of the myriad pathological fixations swirling around President Trump's approach to governing, perhaps the oddest is his unrelenting hostility to the U.S. Postal Service.

Trump was at it again during a news briefing Tuesday, when, prompted by a question from a reporter, he hared off after the Postal Service and one of its most important ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Landlord insists on cash payments for rent. What I can do to stay safe during coronavirus?

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Q: Our lease states that we must pay the rent in cash. Because of the Safer at Home orders in place, we do not want to go to the bank to get the money. We offered to pay with a check or even have our bank transfer the funds, but our landlord refused. We want to stay safe during the pandemic. What can we do? -- Amanda

A: It is crucial always to ...Read more

Record 16.8 million have sought US jobless aid since coronavirus

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- In the fastest surge of layoffs and economic decline in U.S. history, nearly 17 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits in the last three weeks, the government reported Thursday.

Economists said the tidal wave of layoffs, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, suggests the U.S. unemployment rate in April will be ...Read more

Third week of big US jobless claims sees 6.61 million filings

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Americans applied for unemployment benefits in massive numbers for a third straight week, bringing the total to about 16.8 million during the coronavirus pandemic's economic shutdown.

A total of 6.61 million people filed jobless claims in the week ended April 4, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday, as more states ordered ...Read more

Scammed by that toilet paper or coronavirus face mask you bought online? Join the club

Business / Business News /

The ads are enticing, no doubt about it.

Forty-count mega rolls of Charmin Ultra Soft. Twelve double rolls of Quilted Northern Ultra Plush. Face masks, Clorox wipes and paper towels.

"Hot sale! In stock now!" they say. "3-7 Days Express Delivery."

Don't delay, the toilet paper ads warn. "17461 sold in last 24 hours. WE HAVE VERY LIMITED ...Read more

Car dealers are desperate. Does that make it a good time to buy a vehicle online?

Business / Business News /

New-car showrooms are closed. Inventory is beyond bloated. Car dealers are bleeding cash and ready to negotiate.

In other words, if you're blessed with good health and you have a reasonable chance of keeping your job, now's a good time to buy a car.

You'll have to shop from home -- or wherever you're sheltering in place. You'll need to be ...Read more

40% of California car dealers in survey say they can hold out for only 1-3 more months

Business / Business News /

Many businesses are barely hanging on because of the restrictions put in place to blunt the spread of the coronavirus and the auto industry is no exception.

In an online survey of new car dealers in California, 40% of the respondents said their operations during the crisis are sustainable for only one to three more months.

"It's a cash flow ...Read more

Coronavirus leaves home buyers and sellers in limbo — and at financial risk

Business / Business News /

A single mother and nurse in her mid-30s could no longer afford her house in Delaware County, Pa. So she took all the money she could scrape together for a security deposit and the first and last month's rent for an apartment, and she put her house on the market.

To help make ends meet, she needed the profits from her home sale, originally set ...Read more