NPR Business

The Salt
1:09 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Where In The World Are There No McDonald's?

Chinese consumers have 1,075 McDonald's locations to choose from, but the variety inside the restaurant isn't exactly top of their tastes-- KFC does much better business here because Chinese diners prefer white meat over beef patties.
felibrilu via Flickr

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:03 pm

Recent news out of Vietnam intrigued us here at The Salt. Ho Chi Minh City is set to get its first McDonald's sometime in the next year, according to the company.

It seems Vietnam is ready for the iconic American food, and McDonald's is confident that Vietnamese consumers now have enough disposable income to get hooked on shakes, burgers and fries.

That got us thinking about the global reach of one of the world's most iconic food companies.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop; Mortgage Rates Edge Up

New claims for unemployment benefits fell to 326,000 in the week that ended July 27 — the lowest level for initial jobless claims in more than five years, according to the Labor Department.

Employment data for the month of July is due to be released Friday. But for now, the weekly jobless claims numbers are being hailed as another sign that the U.S. economy is gaining strength.

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The Two-Way
11:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

S&P 500 Index Passes 1,700 Mark For First Time

A chart shows the growth in the Standard & Poor's 500 index of large-capitalization U.S. stocks. The index passed the 1,700 mark for the first time Thursday.
S&P 500

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 1:06 pm

The Standard & Poor's 500 index, the benchmark of America's largest corporations, surpassed 1,700 points for the first time in early trading Thursday. The rise is being tied to a drop in weekly jobless claims, as well as assurances from central banks in the U.S. and Europe that they would continue to bolster their economies.

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Economy
10:23 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Jobless Aid Falls To New Low

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 6:01 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with unemployment numbers.

No, this is not the big monthly jobs report. We'll get that tomorrow. But this morning one number from the Labor Department - the department announced that applications for jobless benefits fell to 326,000 last week. That is the lowest level since January of 2008. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
6:16 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Sony Plugs Back In To Profits

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Sony plugged into profits.

Sony reports that it's making money again. The Japanese company announced its second quarter earnings today. Most of its success though comes thanks to a favorable currency rate - a weak yen was key for Sony. Still, the company did see a little improvement in its smartphone sales and entertainment business. Net income for Sony's latest quarter was $35 million. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
3:03 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Firm Hopes 'Owning Nashville' Will Pay Off For Investors

A new fund trading on the New York Stock Exchange will allow investors to put money in companies that all call Nashville home. The manager's of the fund hope to expand the project to other cities.
Walter G. Arce CSM /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:23 am

There's a hot stock tip floating around Nashville, and it's a first-of-its-kind investment fund that begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.

The fund is a collection of stocks in publicly traded companies that have one thing in common: the city they call home.

When people buy into the Nashville Area Exchange Traded Fund — which starts trading at $25 a share — they will essentially be placing a bet based on an area code.

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Business
3:02 am
Thu August 1, 2013

As Back-To-School Shopping Begins, Consumers May Turn Frugal

Chris Viehland helps her daughter Jenna try on shoes for the new school year at a Famous Footwear store in Fenton, Mo., Aug. 9, 2012.
Christian Gooden MCT/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 6:01 pm

As August begins, retailers are stepping up sales promotions to attract back-to-school shoppers. And several states are offering tax-free shopping to encourage purchases.

But most economists say this year's sales will be slower than last summer's because consumers have been coping with more expensive gasoline and higher payroll taxes.

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The Two-Way
7:30 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

House Votes To Cut Student Loan Rate, Sends Bill To Obama

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 8:08 pm

The Republican-controlled House on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill to cut the cost of borrowing for federal student loans, sending the measure to President Obama for his signature.

The bill, which had easily passed the Democratic-controlled Senate last week, would retroactively cut higher rates — which on July 1 had jumped to at least 6.8 percent.

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All Tech Considered
6:07 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Tampon Marketing Gets Real For The Social Media Age

"We just thought we were telling this endearing story women could relate to," says HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom.
Courtesy of HelloFlo

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 11:08 am

Advertising for feminine hygiene products was traditionally so cheesy that it invited mockery far and wide. There was something so laughable and incongruent about maxi pad commercials that featured blue liquid and girls dancing on beaches.

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Economy
6:05 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Better GDP Report Doesn't Mean Economy Is In Good Shape

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

You could almost hear a collective sigh of relief today from economists. The government reported that the economy is not growing quite as slowly as had been expected and there are some positive signs on the jobs front. A private sector jobs report released today could mean the main government employment report on Friday will also show some strength.

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