Steady hiring is now benefiting a broader group of Americans
WASHINGTON (AP) — Years of steady job gains have finally begun to benefit a wider range of Americans, including those with less education and in lower-paying jobs.
A second straight month of robust hiring — 255,000 jobs added in July — pointed to employer confidence that suggested that the economy is powering through a slump that struck early this year. The unemployment rate remained a low 4.9 per cent, the Labor Department said Friday.
Hiring has been solid for six years, but for most of that time there were caveats: Average hourly pay was stagnant. And millions were no longer either working or looking for work, leaving a smaller proportion of adults in the labour force.
In Olympic marketing, smaller brands find restrictions tough
NEW YORK (AP) — The Olympics are full of stories of underdogs triumphing against the odds for athletic glory. But in the case of Olympic marketing, smaller brands are finding it tough to prevail amid strict rules.
Sponsors such as Visa and Samsung pay hundreds of millions of dollars to be associated with the Olympics. So the International Olympic Committee cracks down on non-sponsoring brands that reference the Olympics by name or use Olympic logos in tweets or advertisement.
This extends to athletes who tweet about “non-Olympic commercial partners” — brands that sponsor the individuals but don’t pay the IOC or a national Olympic committee itself to be an official Olympic sponsor. The IOC can punish athletes for rule violations by disqualifying them from events and even stripping them of medals.
But in the age of Twitter and Facebook, it’s difficult to clamp down entirely on messaging.
Amazon unveils cargo plane as it expands delivery network
SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle-based Amazon is unveiling its first branded cargo plane, one of 40 jetliners that will make up the e-commerce giant’s own air transportation network as it takes more control of its delivery process.
The latest push to speed delivery of its products comes as the company ships an increasing number of packages worldwide. Amazon’s parcel volume was an estimated 1 billion packages in 2015 — the same number that FedEx delivered three years earlier for hundreds of thousands of customers.
Amazon has had issues with the reliability of air freight services. In 2013, it offered refunds to customers who got their Christmas orders late after bad weather and a jump in online shopping caused delays for UPS and FedEx.
Popping up near you: Ice cream museums, sitcom-themed diners
BOSTON (AP) — Now you see them; now you don’t. Pop-up storefronts and eateries have been around for years, but entrepreneurs increasingly are taking the concept in new and unexpected directions.
Last week, New York welcomed the Museum of Ice Cream, an interactive pop-up honouring the frozen treat.
In Chicago, a short-term diner this month replicates “The Max,” the fictitious Southern California hangout from the 1990s-era high school sitcom “Saved by the Bell.”
And in London last month, patrons dined at The Bunyadi, a quick-hit naked restaurant where clothing was optional and cellphones were banned. One may surface in Paris next month.
US stocks rise to record highs after strong jobs report
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks jumped to record highs Friday after a strong jobs report for the month of July gave investors more confidence that the economy is still growing. Financial and technology stocks soared and investors sold the safe assets they have favoured for most of this year.
The Labor Department said U.S. employers added 255,000 jobs in July, far more than investors expected and the second straight month of strong gains after shaky reports this spring. Stocks made their biggest gain in almost a month. Banks traded higher as investors anticipated higher interest rates and bigger profits on mortgages and other loans. The Nasdaq composite closed at a record high as tech stocks continued to climb. Consumer companies also made big gains. Investors sold bonds, precious metals, and phone and utility companies, safe investments that soared earlier this year as investors worried about the health of the economy.
US trade deficit hits $44.5 billion, biggest in 10 months
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit increased to the highest point in 10 months, driven up by a big rise in imports of oil and Chinese-made computers, cellphones and clothing.
The deficit rose to $44.5 billion in June, 8.7 per cent higher than a revised May deficit of $41 billion, the Commerce Department reported Friday. It was the biggest gap between what America sells abroad and what the country imports since a $44.6 billion deficit last August.
Exports, which have struggled this year because of the strong dollar and global weakness, edged up 0.3 per cent to $183.2 billion. Imports rose a faster 1.9 per cent to $227.7 billion, led by a 19.4 per cent jump in petroleum imports.
Consumer borrowing slows to $12.3 billion gain in June
WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers increased their borrowing in June but at the slowest pace in 17 months as auto and student loans registered the slowest growth in nearly five years.
The Federal Reserve said Friday that total borrowing rose by $12.3 billion in June, down sharply from an increase of $17.9 billion in May. That was the smallest monthly gain since January 2015.
The slowdown in borrowing came from a big decrease in the growth of auto and student loans, which rose by just $4.6 billion in June, the weakest monthly performance since this loan category declined in August 2011.
Louisiana pols go to court blaming Big Oil for coastal ruin
ALLIANCE, La. (AP) — The oil industry has left a big footprint along the Gulf Coast, where a Delaware-sized stretch of Louisiana has disappeared. But few politicians would blame Big Oil for ecosystem abuse in a state where the industry employs up to 300,000 people and injects $73 billion into the economy. Until now.
Following the lead of Gov. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana political orthodoxy is being turned upside-down as prominent leaders of both parties join lawsuits seeking billions of dollars for environmental improvement projects.
‘From trails to cocktails,’ active wear hot at outdoor show
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Once an afterthought in the historically male-dominated outdoor retail industry, women have become a sought-after force with companies vying to tap into a market that has grown to $4.6 billion in annual sales.
A wide array of clothing, gear and equipment specifically designed for women adventurers is on display this weekend at the summer version of the world’s largest outdoor gear show for retailers that attracts 30,000 people a year to Salt Lake City.
The sales of women-specific goods has grown from about $400 million some 15 years ago to $4.6 billion this year, said Julia Clark Day, executive director of business development for the sports division of the research firm NPD Group.
Bristol-Myers drug fails lung cancer study, shares plunge
NEW YORK (AP) — A blockbuster cancer treatment failed in a key study as the drug’s maker, Bristol-Myers Squibb, attempts to extend its usage for lung cancer patients.
Shares of the New York company plunged 16 per cent. Shares of rival Merck & Co., which makes a rival cancer drug, spiked 10 per cent to reach a multi-year high.
Bristol’s drug, Opdivo, and Merck’s drug Keytruda are immunotherapies, which bolster the immune system so that patients can better fight cancer. Both drugs are already approved to treat melanoma and lung cancer, but only after chemotherapy.
Berkshire Hathaway profit jumps 25 per cent
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the company led by Warren Buffett, said Friday that its second-quarter profit jumped 25 per cent from a year ago as revenue from its insurance and financial products businesses grew.
The conglomerate reported net income of $5 billion, or $3,042 per Class A share, in the quarter, compared with $4 billion, or $2,442, per Class A share, in the same quarter a year before. Earnings, adjusted for investment gains, came to $2,803 per share.
Total revenue rose 6 per cent to $54.46 billion in the period.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 191.48 points, or 1 per cent, to 18,543.53. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 18.62 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 2,182.87. The Nasdaq advanced 54.87 points, or 1.1 per cent, to 5,221.12.
Benchmark U.S. crude slid 13 cents to $41.80 per barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, dipped 2 cents to $44.27 a barrel in London. In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline held steady at $1.38 a gallon. Heating oil lost 1 cent to $1.32 a gallon. Natural gas fell 6 cents to $2.77 per 1,000 cubic feet.