Business news

Schools fight back against the freshman 15

Feb 3, 2016
Nova Safo

If you wear an activity tracker — like a Fitbit or something similar, and have a goal of reaching 10,000 steps a day, consider this: what if you were a college student and completing your degree depended on hitting that mark — at least some of the time.

Oral Roberts University recently began requiring incoming freshmen to wear FitBits and walk 10,000 steps a day. Their FitBit records are recorded by the school and count toward graduation requirements.

The ins and outs of airline points

Feb 3, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about GM profits; the economic realities of American Muslims; and maximizing your airline points.

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Feb 3, 2016

Airing on Wednesday, February 3, 2016: On today's show, we'll talk about Yahoo's blues; the new EU-U.S. data sharing pact; and Uber strikes.


Airing on Wednesday, February 3, 2016: On today's show, we'll talk about Toyota's settlement over alleged discrimination regarding interest rates; spouses hiding credit cards from each other; and a closer look at the money flowing through super PACs.

Till death do us mushroom

Feb 3, 2016
Marketplace staff

$43 billion

That's how much the China National Chemical Corporation will pay for biotechnology company Syngenta. Based out of Switzerland, Syngenta previously turned down an offer from Monsanto for $47 billion. But as the New York Times writes, the offer from ChemChina came with the promise to leave the Swiss-based management and headquarters alone, which led to the closing of the deal.

13 million

Jet engine finally meets a moving assembly line

Feb 2, 2016
Howard Jones

Even in these days of industrial robots and assembly line automation, a few things are still built largely by hand. And those include, believe it or not, jet engines. Now the ramp up in demand for commercial aircraft has challenged the jet engine business to take a fresh look at a very old assembly technique.

Ted Cruz wins Iowa despite corn ethanol opposition

Feb 2, 2016
Annie Baxter

Ted Cruz’s victory in the Iowa Republican caucus was far from certain, but not just because of strong competition from rival Donald Trump. Iowa’s corn industry has benefited a lot from a decade-old law requiring that renewable fuels, largely corn ethanol, be blended with gasoline. And Cruz is no fan.

His opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard drew a lot of fire in the state. But he's not its only detractor.

“The Renewable Fuel Standard is essentially an income redistribution system,” Vince Smith, economics professor at Montana State University, said. 

Oil? Almonds? They have something in common

Feb 2, 2016
Andy Uhler

BP reported a 3.3 billion dollar fourth-quarter loss today, Exxon Mobil said its quarterly profits are down more than half from last year. They're blaming it on low oil price.

U.S. crude is trading right around $30, which seems like miles away from the almost $150 dollars a barrel back in 2008. Back then, producers jumped at the chance to get into the market now, we've got too much oil increased production has created a glut — so prices fall.

The devil is in the details. It’s an old cliché but never truer than at moments like this: crunch time at the pivotal UN climate change conference in Paris.

For the last two weeks delegates from nearly 200 nations meeting here have been haggling over a new global climate deal on which the future health of our planet and species may well depend.

Life during the gas leak in Porter Ranch

Feb 2, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

About 30 miles north of Los Angeles, people living in the town of Porter Ranch, and in some of its neighboring communities, said they first smelled the gas on October 23rd. 

“Some people refer to it like a skunk” says Tammy Feola. She lives and works in Porter Ranch and describes the smell as “a stinky-makes-you-have-an-instant-headache-wanna-puke-smell.”

Marketplace for Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Feb 2, 2016

GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz wins the Iowa caucus despite ethanol opposition; what life is like for residents of Porter Ranch during the massive gas leak; and a look at China's last free-flowing river. 

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The first non-stop commercial flights between Buffalo and Los Angeles will be in the air soon. Buffalo-Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark says it's an "amazing development" for the region's growing film industry.

How to creatively think about creative thinking

Feb 2, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the most valuable company in the world; what happens to money in super PACs for losing candidates; and how you should be thinking about creativity.

When a candidate exits, what happens to the cash?

Feb 2, 2016
Sally Herships

The winners from Iowa are out.

Why our ideas about creativity are wrong

Feb 2, 2016

What does it take to be more innovative and spot the next big idea? Perhaps caution, prudence, and procrastination. 

Adam Grant, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Management, speaks with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio about his new book, "Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World."


Airing on Tuesday, February 2, 2016: On today's show, we'll talk about the money embedded in the Iowa caucus numbers; and Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, joins us to talk about economic inequality.

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Feb 2, 2016

Airing on Tuesday, February 2, 2016: On today's show, we'll talk about Alphabet earnings; a hotel that offers a fine selection of video games; and broadband in Cuba.

Cuba to begin rollout of broadband internet

Feb 2, 2016
Nova Safo

Visitors to Cuba often face both a frustrating and liberating reality: the lack of broadband or mobile Internet. 

"You can't rely on Google to settle your arguments, when you're having a debate over dinner," said Ted Henken said, co-author of the book "Entrepreneurial Cuba: The Changing Policy Landscape," and Associate Professor of Sociology and Latin American Studies at Baruch College in New York.

New interest in area where black business once thrived

Feb 1, 2016
Gabrielle Ware

After the Civil War, freed slaves settled in an area of Savannah known as Frogtown. Named after the creatures that came out in the neighborhood after it rained, Frogtown became a thriving black business district.

But in the early 1960s the state condemned the area and the federal government built an interstate highway overpass where businesses once stood. Now, some residents are making it their mission to tear the structure down.

Although they're not forecasting economic doom-and-gloom for New York State, a newly-released survey of private company CEOs across Upstate New York reveals a drop in overall confidence.

Kim Adams

All the attention to the Iowa caucuses perhaps overshadowed the political money story of Monday —  the latest campaign fundraising numbers, filed by a January 31st deadline with the federal government.

The numbers are about what you'd expect if you've been following the campaign so far: Clinton and Sanders leading on the Democratic side, Rubio and Cruz for Republicans, with Donald Trump mostly using his own cash.

Just how much cash to keep on hand is a tricky balancing act for campaigns.

Alphabet delivers its first earnings report

Feb 1, 2016

Tech earnings reports continue this week and today, Alphabet, the holding company for Google,  reported how it performed in the fourth quarter of 2015. Normally no big deal for Google, which reliably reports making truckloads of money. But now it's Alphabet ... which means we'll get a peek at how some of its more interesting divisions are performing. Are any of those moonshots making money?

At Cornell, bigger is better for business

Feb 1, 2016
Mark Garrison

On Saturday, Cornell University announced it will pull its business-focused institutions — the School of Hotel Administration, the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the Johnson Graduate School of Management — into one College of Business. The massive and controversial reorganization is a reminder that the professors who teach future business leaders about the rapidly changing business environment, face a changing landscape in their own field.

Here are some key forces changing the business of business education:

1. Globalization:

Kai Ryssdal

Cases of bottled water are still being delivered to Flint, Michigan, but the lead problem in America doesn't stop there. Houses across the country have lead in the walls, and we've known about the damaging effects for a long time. David Rosner is the author of "Lead Wars," and also a professor of the History and Ethics of Public Health at Columbia University.

Marketplace for Monday, February 1, 2016

Feb 1, 2016

Breaking down the billions in Alphabet's earnings report; how lead may be the biggest childhood epidemic in the country; and the latest installment of "I've Always Wondered," looking at what happens when your water goes down the drain.


New York State Association of Counties

New York’s Association of Counties is going to be taking a closer look at why 30 of the state’s 62 counties showed a negative trend in sales tax revenue from 2014 to 2015.

The ABC's of Alphabet

Feb 1, 2016

On today's show, a Ponzi scheme gets shut down in China; alleged fraud in dark pools; the cost of developing a Zika virus vaccine; and the ABCs of Alphabet.


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

Feb 1, 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

Marketplace Tech for Monday, February 1, 2016

Feb 1, 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.