NPR Business

The Two-Way
9:55 am
Thu October 11, 2012

U.S. Foreclosures Drop Dramatically, But The Picture Remains Very Mixed

An auction sign in front of a Salem, Ore., home on Feb. 23.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:38 am

RealtyTrac, an online industry group that follows the foreclosure market, says the number of foreclosed properties nationally dropped dramatically in September, down by seven percent from August. And the firm says since September 2011, foreclosures are down 16 percent — that's the lowest total since July 2007.

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Business
4:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Michigan Voters To Decide Renewable Energy Mandate

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There are business effects to some of the more than 170 statewide ballot measures to be decided in next month's elections. In California, voters will determine if labels should be required on genetically-modified food. People in Arkansas will vote whether to increase taxes for highways and bridges. And one measure in Michigan is capturing attention - whether the state constitution should be amended to change how utilities get their electricity.

Here's Rebecca Williams of Michigan Radio.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHIP HORN)

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Business
4:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

WAL-Mart's Off To A Good Start With Holiday Shopping

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:22 pm

Wal-Mart is thriving despite the shaky economy, protests from union supporters and allegations of bribery at its Mexican unit. The company's stock price hit an all-time high Wednesday, and holiday layaway sales are off to a sizzling start. It's also introducing a low-cost, pre-paid debit card.

Business
4:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:59 am

Lenovo shipped 13.8 million units in the third quarter, according to the research firm Gartner. That robs a struggling Hewlett-Packard from a title they'd long enjoyed: the world's No. 1 PC vendor. The firm's data also suggests a worldwide dip in PC sales of about 8 percent over the past year.

Business
4:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:54 am

In a Census Bureau report released Wednesday, it tallied up the median earnings for different bachelor degree holders. Engineers make an average of $92,000 a year. Some other majors at the low-end of the list: education, fine and visual arts and communications. Those all earn an average of $50,000 to $60,000.

Health
4:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Meningitis Outbreak Linked To Compounding Pharmacies

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've been watching a deadly medical scandal unfold over the past week. A steroid commonly injected into people's spines to relieve back pain was apparently contaminated by an ordinary fungus.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As a result so far, 137 people in 10 states have contracted a rare brain infection of fungal meningitis. Twelve people have died. The tainted drug apparently came from a pharmacy in Massachusetts that shipped nearly 18,000 doses to 23 states.

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Fiscal Cliff Notes
3:24 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Could Hit Civilian Pentagon Workers First

A Marine Corp F-35B Joint Strike Fighter lands at Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland in 2011. Analysts say that if mandatory Pentagon budget cuts are imposed next year, fewer new planes could ultimately be ordered.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:23 pm

Unless Congress acts, the Defense Department faces some $55 billion in cuts after the first of the year. The cuts are part of what's known as sequestration — automatic across the board spending cuts to both defense and nondefense government spending set in motion by last year's debt-ceiling fight.

Salaries for uniformed personnel are the one major thing that's protected. Otherwise, it's about a 10 percent cut to everything from Pentagon civilian staff to the acquisition of multimillion-dollar aircraft, like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

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Music News
4:02 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

You, Too, Can Print Your Own Guitar

Industrial engineer Scott Summit made this guitar out of nylon powder.
Courtesy of Scott Summit

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:57 pm

Though it's been around for three decades, 3-D printing has finally started to take off for manufacturing and even for regular consumers. It's being used for making airplane parts on demand and letting kids make their own toys. One designer is pushing the limits of 3-D printing by using it to make an acoustic guitar.

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It's All Politics
11:45 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Marketing Of The Presidential Race Continues, Nationally And Locally

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 12:18 pm

JetBlue is hedging its bets on the presidential election.

The New York-based airline says it plans to give more than 1,000 free flights to raffle entrants who back the losing candidate in the Nov. 6 contest between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.

The company's promotion promises: "If things don't go your way, don't worry. Here's your chance to get a free flight out of the country." It's a round-trip ticket, by the way.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Counterfeit Airbags Pose Surprise Hazard To Motorists

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 12:21 pm

If the airbag in your car was replaced sometime in the past three years, and it wasn't done at an auto shop attached to a car dealership, there is a small possibility the part could be fake.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to issue an alert today telling consumers whether they should have their vehicles checked for the real McCoy. More than 100 types of vehicle airbags could be involved.

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