Business news

Marketplace Tech for Monday, February 1, 2016

Jan 31, 2016

Airing on Monday, February 1, 2016: On today's show, we'll talk about Google results; we'll talk with Brian Clegg, author of the book “Ten Billion Tomorrows: How Science Fiction Technology Became Reality and Shapes the Future"; and an app that’s being used to report results in the Iowa caucus.


Airing on Monday, February 1, 2016: On today's show, we'll talk about unemployment in Iowa; Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, joins us to talk about how low oil prices are affecting the global economy; and we'll talk about a machine with soul and soles.

A machine with a soul

Jan 31, 2016
David Brancaccio

As part of our series Pro Tool, we're looking for that must-have device in your line of work, be it a pair of scissorsnotebook, or

This startup wants to save you a trip to the gas station

Jan 29, 2016
Christopher Connelly

Gas stations may be facing a fight for the fuel tank. A new startup operating in Fort Worth, Texas, and Silicon Valley wants to bring the fuel to you, courtesy of an app. It’s one of a few app-based fuel delivery companies looking to shake up the pump game.

Elizabeth Tolentino has been using the service for four months. The marketing assistant absolutely hates going to the gas station, so she used to put off filling up as long as possible. She used to keep a gas can in her trunk because she had run out of gas. She even ran out of gas at the gas station one time. 

Marketplace for Friday, January 29, 2016

Jan 29, 2016

The White House looks to close the wage gap by gathering data; a startup that wants to bring gas to you with the touch of a button; and the business of fighting mosquitos. 

Marketplace Weekend Staff

The election season can seem crazy and stressful.

But, a year from now, we'll have a new President and a new  Congress.

So let's think on the bright side.

During this election season, which can often feel like a reality TV show, what makes you hopeful for a brighter economic tomorrow?

Call and leave a message at (800) 648-5114, tell us on Facebook or reach us on Twitter, @MarketplaceWKND.

Scott Tong

The price of crude oil closed up a small percentage this week, after a tumultuous year and a half to the downside.

As far as what happens next, plenty of market professionals look to past market busts for enlightenment. One narrative making the rounds in financial markets suggests the oil bust is the new subprime mortgage bust — and could last just as long.

Leaving with a golden parachute

Jan 29, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about GDP growth, and golden parachutes.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, January 29, 2016

Jan 28, 2016

Airing on Friday, January 29, 2016: On today's show, we'll talk about Microsoft and Amazon earnings; the deadline for Europe and the U.S. to reach a data-sharing agreement; and Gizmodo technology editor Michael Nunez joins us for this week's Silicon Tally.


Airing on Friday, January 29, 2016: On today's show, we'll talk about the Obama administration addressing the wage gap; Xerox growing its services; and the BBC asking for financial help from older Brits.

Xerox isn't just copiers anymore

Jan 28, 2016
Andy Uhler

Xerox reports earnings Friday. It also announced that it would split itself into two public companies — one would run hardware like printer and fax machines and the other would be the services division.

But it's not like Xerox just started branching out from making copiers. In 2010 it acquired Affiliated Computer Services — a huge data service provider. Steve Tadelis, economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said dividing the company makes sense.

"There is a large viewpoint in management that one should focus on core competence," he said.

Slower GDP growth reflects global forces

Jan 28, 2016

The first estimate of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Q4 2015 and the full-year of 2015 will be reported by the U.S. Commerce Department on Friday. 

The consensus among economists, as reported by Bloomberg, is for 0.9 percent annualized growth in Q4 2015, down from 2.0 percent growth in Q3 2015. 

Gas prices are down, but electric vehicles are in

Jan 28, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

General Motors unveiled its new electric car at the North American Auto Show this month. It's called the Chevy Bolt, not to be confused with GM's hybrid, the Chevy Volt. The small, electric car is raising eyebrows at a time when gas prices are low and American car production continues to rise.

Pam Fletcher, GM's Executive Chief Engineer for Electrified Vehicles, overseas the team that designs and builds these cars. 

Fletcher on the significant of this car to General Motors:

Marketplace for Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jan 28, 2016

How the Zika virus is impacting business and travel; schools and children in Flint face the worst of the water crisis; and an interview with GM's Chief Electric Vehicle Engineer about the new Chevy Bolt. 

Where were you when you heard about the Challenger crash?

Jan 28, 2016
Marketplace staff

Thirty years ago today the NASA space shuttle Challenger exploded just seconds after liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on January 28, 1986. All seven crew members died in the disaster. It was one of the biggest tragedies in space exploration history.

Kai took to Twitter today and asked:

Facebook's skyrocketing profits

Jan 28, 2016

On today's show, what's driving Facebook's record profits; Visa's forthcoming reunion; and the rise of the independent bookstores in Paris.

Legacy equipment still hinders digital manufacturing

Jan 27, 2016
Jeff St. Clair

Mathias Ellegiers is head of an Akron-based startup called Jaswig. He designed an adjustable standing desk — he says it’s healthier than sitting all day.

At a shop in Cleveland, the components of his wooden desk are routed out of sheets of Baltic birch plywood. Ellegiers didn’t bring any drawings. Instead, “We sent them the file through email,” he said.

As ACA deadline approaches, fines loom

Jan 27, 2016
D Gorenstein

The deadline for getting health insurance through a government-run marketplace is January 31, and skipping out on insurance this year could cost you double what it cost last year as fines climb to $695 per adult, or 2.5 percent of household income — whichever is greater.

But even with that bigger stick, Brian Blase with the Mercatus Center at George Mason said he expects plenty of people to sit this year out.

Elly Yu

The U.S. took another step towards warming economic relations with Cuba on Wednesday. The Obama administration eased some financial restrictions, and U.S. firms can begin offering Cuban-run businesses credit. But this change doesn't apply to agricultural commodities. And lifting the decades-long trade embargo with the island nation is still up to Congress.  That hasn't stopped leaders in the state of Georgia from eyeing potential business opportunities  

The FCC takes on the set top box

Jan 27, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood

If you’re like most people with cable or satellite,  you rent your box from the cable company and pay a monthly fee for it. Right now that’s about the only option you have, with a few very small exceptions. You might have another box like Apple TV that you stream content through … but for cable, there's really just the one option. 

Marketplace for Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Jan 27, 2016

Citizens and NGOs are mounting lawsuits against officials in Flint; how the strong dollar can weaken a company's earnings; and a look at relations with Cuba through the poultry industry. 

Andy Uhler

As Iran slowly works its way back into the global economy, the country's president, Hassan Rouhani, is in Europe looking to drum up excitement about investment. Some of the sanctions imposed on Iran because of its nuclear program have been lifted, which means international businesses, ones not headquartered in the United States, are free to trade with, and invest in, Iran. Many U.S. businesses want to get a slice of the pie, too, but they’re not really competing on an level playing field. 


Airing on Wednesday, January 27, 2016: On today's show, we'll talk about Apple's slow down in earnings; fundraising for colleges; the possible Shell-BP merger; and U.S. firms now offering credit to Cubans.

Government further relaxes Cuba trade rules

Jan 26, 2016
D Gorenstein

Wednesday marks another significant step in the thawing of U.S. Cuba relations. For the first time in decades, U.S. firms can begin offering their Cuban customers credit.

The easing of financial restrictions is consistent with the Administration’s goal to improve the lives of ordinary Cuban citizens.

Attorney Gus Maxwell, with the Ackerman law firm in Miami, said lifting further financial restrictions will help make trade more normal.

Flint is swimming in water bottles

Jan 26, 2016
Tony Wagner

As state officials work to contain the ongoing health crisis in Flint, Michigan, private companies and celebrities are pitching in, sending hundreds of thousands of water bottles into the city.

Sarah Menendez

The Danish parliament passed a bill Tuesday that allows law enforcement officials to confiscate cash and other assets from migrants in an effort to offset the cost of letting them live within Denmark's borders. However, Denmark is not the first or only European country asking that refugees turn over their valuables as pay for their stay.  


Marketplace for Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jan 26, 2016

Why the company behind the GED lowered the passing score; a look at Apple's stock after their latest earnings report; and an interview with Mohammed El-Erian, author of new book about central banks

The doctor is in ... your phone

Jan 26, 2016
David Brancaccio

On today's show, we'll talk about when crude oil and stocks dance in a messy tango; and using an app to record your appointments with the doctor.

John Rosman

It’s not too hard to find what you need inside Powell’s City of Books in downtown Portland, Ore. That’s saying something, since it’s home to approximately one million titles, divided into 3,500 sections and engulfs a city block.  

When you want to find something you learn to rely on the staff. But when I asked three different employees for the location of the store’s most expensive book — I got three different answers.

M and A little bit of history repeating

Jan 25, 2016

Industrial giants Johnson Controls and Tyco are hoping to tie the knot, financially speaking.  It’s the latest example of inversion, a type of merger-plus-relocation overseas.

It's also a big merger after a huge year for mergers and acquisitions in 2015.  And that makes it a bit of an outlier. Historically, mergers and acquisitions follow a familiar pattern.