House Democrats review new trade agreement from White House, Mexico

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Negotiations on the stalled U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement reached a crucial phase on Saturday as the Trump administration sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a proposal for changes to the deal for review.

The plan was worked out during marathon talks this week between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and top ...Read more

Target offers free service for visually impaired shoppers at 600 stores for holidays

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Like many blind or visually impaired people, Steve Decker does a lot of online shopping with the help of tools that read text out loud to him.

But like many shoppers, regardless of ability, he still likes to come to stores in person to gauge the freshness of produce or to feel the texture of a sweater. To do so, he often has to ...Read more

Uber loses $1.5 billion in value after reporting thousands of sexual assaults in its rides

Business / Business News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Uber's stock market value fell by as much as $1.5 billion Friday as investors turned against the ride-hailing giant after it said more than 3,000 sexual assaults took place during its rides in 2018.

At one point Friday, Uber's shares had fallen by almost 3%, to $27.81, to give the company a market capitalization of $47.4 ...Read more

Job market's decade-end bang risks fizzling in less-roaring '20s

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The 2010s are ending with unexpected strength in the U.S. job market, but there's reason to doubt there will be another roaring '20s.

November's 266,000 payroll gain, the biggest since January, exceeded forecasts and job growth in the prior two months was revised higher -- calming concern about a slowdown in the economy or even ...Read more

Susan Tompor: 5 year-end tax tips to get your money safely through the holiday season

Business / Business News /

Stop, take a deep breath and wait for a warning from the Internal Revenue Service before you pull out that plastic to jump on yet another holiday deal on a TV, toys or a smartphone.

Will you really have all the money you need by January or February to cover all those holiday bills? Not necessarily, if you're banking on a big income tax refund ...Read more

How Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance may fix what ails Disney's Galaxy's Edge

Business / Business News /

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Eric Henderson was standing inside the theme park Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, near the exit of the new ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, when the 38-year-old Atlanta native spotted someone he thought looked familiar.

"Are you an Imagineer?" Henderson asked John Larena, nodding to his official-looking ...Read more

A Chinese manufacturer of Chicago's 'L' cars was named in a child labor report, and now the city is asking for details

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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Transit Authority is asking a Chinese manufacturer for more details about its supply chain after a news report that children are being used to mine materials in Africa that might be used in "L" car production.

The report said that children as young as 4 from poor families in Madagascar are mining for mica, which is a type...Read more

Analysis: At Trump White House, that elusive China trade deal is always 'close'

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- A trade agreement with China that President Donald Trump boastfully announced nearly two months ago remains stalled, despite a top White House economic adviser's Friday pledge that a final deal is "close."

On Thursday, the often-verbose president was notably succinct when a reporter asked about the on-again, off-again, on-again ...Read more

H&R Block wants to help solve a major social problem: Loneliness

Business / Business News /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For Jeff Jones, the idea started at home.

As he's watched his teenage daughters grow up in a world ruled by devices and apps, he's worried about the lasting social toll of technology.

"The problem is a really big problem in society today about social isolation," he said. "The more that we're connected to one another ...Read more

David Lazarus: University 'very concerned' about its own dubious marketing scheme

Business / Business News /

Bernard Schweitzer recently received a package of four health-related books from "University of California Berkeley White Papers," along with a bill for $99.60.

There were just a few things wrong.

Schweitzer, 86, a West Los Angeles resident, says he never intentionally ordered any such materials.

He has no ties to UC Berkeley. Schweitzer went...Read more

Larry Printz: The least popular car in America is practical and affordable. So why isn't it selling?

Business / Business News /

Gym class can be the most traumatizing experience for those who don't like participatory sports. Inevitably, if you're not a particularly gifted athlete, you will be taunted or, even worse, chosen last for the junior high dodgeball team, a truly nasty game.

If this has happened to you, then you can sympathize with Fiat.

The Italian automaker ...Read more

Comcast phones E.T. for a commercial: Can the alien help the mothership's brand?

Business / Business News /

PHILADELPHIA -- E.T., the iconic movie alien, has traveled millions of light-years back to Earth for the first time in almost four decades.

The mission? Help Comcast sell high-speed internet.

The Philadelphia company has released a four-minute commercial that's a sort-of sequel to the sci-fi film, reuniting the gentle alien with Henry Thomas, ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Peloton's controversial bike ad stirred immediate reaction when I watched it

Business / Business News /

A week ago while winding down from Thanksgiving weekend, I turned to my husband shortly after seeing what's now turned into a firestorm of a TV commercial and quietly said: "Don't get me a Peloton."

His quick response: "Here is the good news: It never crossed my mind."

The exchange between us seemed so funny that I immediately tweeted it out ...Read more

Ford workers break their silence on faulty transmissions: 'Everybody knew'

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- They knew the truth and kept quiet.

Their secret wasn't a secret at all in engineering, product development, research, design or manufacturing within Ford Motor Co., say seven current and former employees who worked to develop and launch the Fiesta and Focus cars that would become known for defective automatic transmissions.

"My ...Read more

New UAW deals keep status quo when big change was needed, experts say

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Nearly 12 weeks after the previous contracts expired between the UAW and the Detroit Three, including a 40-day nationwide strike against General Motors, work on a new deal is near the end.

But experts say it's just the beginning because the automakers face a difficult future that the new four-year union contracts fail to safeguard ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: How the rich get an undeserved windfall from Social Security

Business / Business News /

In a world where the rich always seem to get richer whatever the game, Social Security always seemed to be one program that was truly "progressive" -- it benefited the working class more than the moneyed class. Right?

Sadly, no.

In reality, despite painstaking efforts to ensure that Social Security benefits are distributed fairly, the wealthy ...Read more

The Week Ahead: Banking on Expectations

Business / Business News /

The first thing investors should know about the Federal Reserve's last interest rate setting meeting of 2019 in the week ahead is that nothing will change.

The second thing investors should know is how little change is expected from the Fed in 2020.

Finally, what investors know for certain is to plan on the unpredictable.

The stock market ...Read more

High-end buyers are changing what they want in a vehicle. Here's why automakers are complying

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- What premium-vehicle buyers want is changing, and that's a big deal not just for luxury brands like Mercedes and Lexus, but Detroit 3 brands including Ford, Chevrolet and Jeep.

Premium vehicles -- including models like the Ford F-150 Platinum, GMC Yukon Denali and Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland -- account for just 13% of global sales, ...Read more

Auto review: Toyota's best-selling Corolla compact gets a makeover and a hybrid for 2020

Business / Business News /

After getting an all-new hatchback version for 2019, the Toyota Corolla debuts a redesigned sedan lineup for 2020, including the brand's first hybrid model.

The 12th-generation Corolla sedan carries forward much of the new exterior styling that made its debut earlier on the hatchback version.

For the new sedan, prices start at $19,600 (plus $...Read more

Mark Phelan: Lincoln's remaining sedans are doomed — but a new model could help brand

Business / Business News /

What does Ford Motor Co.'s decision to stop selling sedans in the United States mean to Lincoln's cars?

Nothing good. But, honestly, does it matter?

You -- and Ford -- might be surprised.

It's easy to make the case against Lincoln's cars. It sells just two -- the midsize MKZ and large Continental. Neither is a leader in its segment, and ...Read more