Michael Hiltzik: Conservative group's ranking of states' economies has been wrong about California for 12 straight years

Business / Business News /

If you happened to check out the latest ranking of states for their "economic outlook" published last week by the right-wing political group ALEC, you would be excused for concluding that California is deep in an economic hole and digging itself deeper.

ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, has updated these rankings every year or so...Read more

Ford invests $500 million in Rivian, an electric truck startup in Michigan

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co., maker of the best-selling F-Series pickup trucks, announced early Wednesday that it's investing $500 million in Rivian, the Michigan-based electric truck startup company.

This is viewed by analysts as a coup since General Motors had expressed interest in an exclusive relationship and was rebuffed, according to ...Read more

737 MAX grounding cuts into Boeing profit and cash reserves

Business / Business News /

The worldwide grounding of the 737 MAX quickly rippled through Boeing's finances, depleting its cash reserve by nearly $1 billion in just the first three weeks, according to the company's first-quarter report.

In the midst of a crisis precipitated by the deaths of 346 passengers in two recent crashes of new 737 MAXs, Boeing on Wednesday ...Read more

Snap bounces back as Snapchat user numbers grow

Business / Business News /

Snap Inc.'s fortunes rise and fall on the size of Snapchat's user base.

When the user numbers started to decline in early 2018 because of a tumultuous redesign and flabby Android app, its stock price began a long slide to less than $5 a share. Executive churn followed, and a dark cloud seemed to hang over the Santa Monica company's future.

...Read more

Can California boost home building without supercharging gentrification?

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Along a stretch of South Los Angeles near the Expo light rail line, investment dollars are pouring in.

Landlords outfit vacant apartments with stainless-steel appliances to lift rents, flippers list renovated bungalows for sale at twice what they paid. And as long-term tenants are forced out, development companies build new ...Read more

As Coachella raged, the L.A. tech world made plans to live on Mars

Business / Business News /

SOMEWHERE IN THE MOJAVE DESERT -- The only in-flight beverages on the 11-seat private jet were bottled water and a genetically modified bacterial slurry designed to prevent the worst effects of hangovers.

A handful of passengers on the short evening flight from Hawthorne to the edge of the Mojave -- venture capitalists, a man with a mushroom-...Read more

Tech Q&A: Telling your PC where you really are

Business / Business News /

Q: I recently moved from Chicago to Lakeland, Fla., but my PC doesn't always realize it.

Whenever I use Google Maps via the Windows 10 Edge browser, the map shows me a Chicago starting point. And if I do a Google search on "Where am I right now?" the answer is Chicago. This is happening even though I went into the Google Maps settings and ...Read more

PG&E gets court OK for $235 million in bonuses amid wildfire woes, bankruptcy

Business / Business News /

PG&E will be able to grant $235 million in bonuses to roughly 10,000 employees, a bankruptcy judge ruled Tuesday, a decision that was issued despite PG&E's wildfire-linked woes and the disgraced company's proposal to impose a big increase in monthly utility bills on its customers.

The bonus packages, part of PG&E's short-term incentive program,...Read more

Qualcomm's shares remain red hot a week after Apple settlement

Business / Business News /

Qualcomm's stock continued to rally following its surprise settlement with Apple last week, gaining nearly 6 percent in trading on Tuesday.

The San Diego cellular technology supplier got a boost from a price upgrade from Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucette, who raised his price target for the shares to $95.

That's higher than many other ...Read more

Linked to deaths, surgical staplers get closer look from FDA

Business / Business News /

Surgical staplers, including those made by Minnesota-run Medtronic PLC, have been associated with such high numbers of deaths, injuries and malfunctions that the Food and Drug Administration is considering moving them to a higher-risk category that would give the regulator more control over the commonly used devices.

"As part of our public ...Read more

Waymo plans final assembly on self-driving cars in Detroit

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Waymo has picked Detroit for final assembly of its self-driving vehicles.

The company, once known as Google's self-driving car project and now a leader in the push to develop autonomous vehicles, had previously said it was scouting locations in southeast Michigan but did not name a specific city.

CEO John Krafcik revealed Detroit as...Read more

Kohl's to accept Amazon returns at all stores starting in July

Business / Business News /

Kohl's department stores, which have had an agreement with online retail juggernaut Amazon since 2017, announced Tuesday that it will accept Amazon-purchased returns at all stores nationwide starting in July.

"This unique partnership combines Kohl's strong nationwide store footprint and omnichannel capabilities with Amazon's reach and customer ...Read more

CBS extends acting CEO Joseph Ianniello's tenure through December

Business / Business News /

CBS Corp. has suspended its search for a chief executive and extended acting Chief Executive Joseph Ianniello's contract through the end of the year as the company weighs whether to merge with Viacom Inc. or plot its own course.

CBS had planned to hire a new chief executive by the end of March, but the search was complicated by thorny questions...Read more

Northern Oil and Gas scoops up more North Dakota oil properties

Business / Business News /

Northern Oil and Gas has agreed to purchase a portfolio of North Dakota oil properties for $295 million plus stock, its largest deal yet.

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based company said it would buy approximately 18,000 net acres containing 86.9 net producing oil wells; 2.7 wells in process; and 47.5 undrilled locations in the core of North Dakota's ...Read more

Here's what we know about Elon Musk's proposed high-speed 'Loop' between Baltimore and D.C.

Business / Business News /

BALTIMORE -- Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk's initial proposal for a high-speed, 35-mile "Loop" tunnel between Baltimore and Washington took a step forward in the process toward government approval with the release of a environmental assessment by federal regulators.

But the "Loop" in the draft environmental impact statement released ...Read more

Why Trump's tariffs are one of the last big obstacles in U.S.-China trade talks

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The United States and China are in the final stretch of talks to resolve a conflict over American complaints about China's unfair trading and economic practices.

Senior U.S. officials say they have reached agreement on enforcement and other key elements of the dispute, raising the possibility that President Trump and Chinese ...Read more

SpaceX turned to fast-igniting fuel for its capsule escape system. That could be part of the accident probe

Business / Business News /

During the Apollo era, NASA astronauts relied on a rocket tower at the top of the capsule to pull them safely away in case of an emergency. If it wasn't used, the tower was jettisoned after the Saturn V rocket had reached about 295,000 feet.

But when SpaceX and Boeing Co. set out to build a new capsule, NASA decided to maintain the escape ...Read more

California utilities ask for bigger profits, says bills would rise $14.40 a month for the average home

Business / Business News /

California's major monopoly utilities asked regulators Monday to approve higher profits for their shareholders amid a growing risk of destructive fires. The biggest request came from Southern California Edison, where the average household customers could see an annual bill increase of more than $170.

In separate filings to the California Public...Read more

Gourmet popcorn chain alleges former employee stole secret recipes. 'Once it has been shared, there is no way to 'undo' the disclosure,' lawsuit says.

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Garrett Popcorn Shops says it guards its recipes so closely that only three employees have access to the information, by verifying their identity via thumbprint.

On Monday, the company, whose formal name is Caramel Crisp, filed a federal lawsuit against one of those three people who it says was fired in early March, alleging that ...Read more

Boeing's quarterly report will give first look at financial impact of MAX crisis

Business / Business News /

Even as Boeing inches closer to a fix for its grounded 737 MAX, industry analysts say the aircraft may not fly until October, a delay that could cost the company nearly three fifths of the cash it expected to generate in 2019.

On Wednesday morning, investors and analysts will get their first look at the financial impacts of the grounding when ...Read more


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