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Gigi Douban

Several department store chains report quarterly earnings this week. Macy's, which reports on Wednesday, announced recently that it's expanding same-day delivery services and has built a distribution center with the capacity to ship 325,000 orders a day.

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Aug 12, 2015
Marketplace

Airing on Wednesday, August 12, 2015: Why Wall Street cares about Google's restructuring, Android devices vs. HTC, and teaching computers to recognize humor.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Joined by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, local leaders are spending Tuesday showing off some of the fruits of the so-called "Buffalo Billion" to delegates from seven Upstate New York regions, who hope they may soon join Buffalo in an economic renaissance boosted by big bucks from Albany.

Contaminated river leaves businesses at a standstill

Aug 11, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Mukta Mohan

The Animas River along Durango and Las Platas, Colorado, was recently contaminated by 3 million gallons of toxic waste from a nearby mine. It turned the river bright yellow and left a lot of small business owners scrambling.

Matt Wilson, co-owner of 4 Corners Whitewater Rafting in Durango, describes the river: “It’s returned to the nice aqua-green color that it usually is, but the problem is the entire river bed is covered in this bright orange sludge, so that is the main concern.”

Man eats way through NYC, one pizza slice at a time

Aug 11, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Bridget Bodnar

 In Colin Atrophy Hagendorf's memoir "Slice Harvester," he makes his way around New York City in pursuit of the best slice of pizza. "It's just 'cause no one had done it," Hagendorf says. He says a good slice of pizza isn't about any one ingredient in particular.

Etiquette and rituals rule in Japan's business culture

Aug 11, 2015
Sally Herships

At a dinner meeting in Tokyo recently, where a lot of business happens over meals, two Japanese professors, Ryo Sahashi, an associate professor of international politics at Kanagawa University,  and Satoru Mori, from the department of global politics, faculty of law at Hosei University, arrived and sat down at their booth. Even though it meant one of them would shortly have to get up to make room for one of their colleagues, who had yet to arrive, they left the middle seat between them empty.

Kim Adams

Campaigns, especially presidential campaigns, are pretty expensive to run. The campaign of former Texas governor and two-time presidential hopeful Rick Perry is feeling the pinch, suspending pay for his staff due to low funds.

How to fool around with your currency

Aug 11, 2015
Sabri Ben-Achour

Currency is a lot like marmalade. And Barbie dolls. And duct tape and coffee and anything else that is bought and sold:  It follows the law of supply and demand.

“Whatever the supply and demand is in the foreign exchange market, that’s what determines the foreign exchange rate,” says Win Thin, global head of emerging markets at Brown Brothers Harriman.   

Marketplace for Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Aug 11, 2015

Call it the yuan, the renminbi, the people's currency ... or just call it an economic indicator. Plus, memoir of a pizza and what's next for Goo- er, Alphabet.

A twist on the "404" page error

Aug 11, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

This final note on the way out today: the greatest 404 "Page not found" page in the history of ever.   

What's next for Google … uh … Alphabet?

Aug 11, 2015
Mitchell Hartman

The reorganization of Google as a holding company called Alphabet is continuing to ripple through the technology world. The new structure announced by Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page will group the company’s primary revenue-generating businesses under Google, including search, Chrome, advertising, Android, YouTube, maps, mail and apps. Google veteran Sundar Pichai will head that business.

A Columbia House retrospective

Aug 11, 2015
Tommy Andres

Filmed Entertainment Inc., the parent of mail-order music company Columbia House, filed for bankruptcy Monday — a move it's blaming on the changing pace of technology. Back in the '90s, Columbia House was known for its "eight CDs a penny" slogan. 

PODCAST: The devaluation heard around the world

Aug 11, 2015
David Brancaccio

The devaluation heard around the world, an alleged international hacking that involves cyber-insider trading.

The story of New Orleans' recovery in one business

Aug 11, 2015
David Brancaccio and Katie Long

It’s been 10 years since Hurricane Katrina and the flood-of-floods struck New Orleans. In the following decade, the city has transformed its public schools, housing and business community.

A technical agreement reached for Greek bailout

Aug 11, 2015
Marketplace staff

From our partners at the BBC:

Greece has agreed a bailout deal "in principle" with its creditors, the European Commission has said.

The Commission said a technical agreement had been reached with Greece, which now requires political approval.

Earlier, Greece's Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos had said "two or three small issues," were yet to be resolved with lenders, following overnight talks in Athens.

Marketplace

Airing on Tuesday, August 8, 2015: Google's restructuring, and why it took eight years for a decades-old grocery store to re-open after Hurricane Katrina.

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Aug 11, 2015
Marketplace

Airing on Tuesday, August 11, 2015: First up, we'll talk with Molly Wood, Marketplace’s Senior Tech correspondent, on Google’s new structure.  We'll also hear from Max Wolff, Chief Economist at Manhattan Venture Partners, about Alibaba ahead of the company’s earnings report on Wednesday. And, Tim Draper, founding partner of DFJ,  discusses his new ABC reality series: Startup U.

Google Maps

Mayor Byron Brown said the city has received three proposals for a new grocery store at 201 Ellicott Street on a site that is currently a parking lot.

Google heads for big changes

Aug 10, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood

Google is getting a makeover, becoming part of a bigger holding company called Alphabet. But why would anyone want to tinker with the structure of a company as successful as Google?

“What Alphabet is thinking here is to essentially streamline things,” says Molly Wood. But fear not, “Google the search engine, and Mail Company, and information gatherer will stay the same,” she says.

Facebook is watching as you laugh

Aug 10, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

Facebook and it's all-knowing-ness is getting even creepier.

They decided they wanted to know how people express laughter online. (Because, you know, on the internet no one can hear you laugh.) 

Anyway, I do recommend reading the whole note from the Facebook research people: 15 percent of people included laughter in a post or comment the week they did the study.

The most common laugh is "haha," followed by various emoji and "hehe." 

Andy Uhler

New York Giants halfback Frank Gifford died this weekend at 84. To a lot of people, he was probably better known as a member of the Monday Night Football crew through the 1970s and '80s, and most of the '90s. Or even as Kathie Lee Gifford's husband. He played for the NFL before football became the national sport, back when boxing was a Friday-night fixture on network TV and college football was more popular than the pros.

Marketplace for Monday, August 10, 2015

Aug 10, 2015

Warren Buffet speaks and the economy listens; public housing, post-Katrina; and Silicon Beach's cure for a long wait at the doctor's office.

Politicians make a push for debt-free college

Aug 10, 2015
Amy Scott

On Monday Hillary Clinton became the latest Democrat to lay out her ideas for making college more affordable. The plan itself isn’t cheap, with its $350 billion price tag. Like some of her rivals for the Democratic ticket, Clinton wants to make college “debt free” for more students.  

What's behind the M&A mania

Aug 10, 2015
Sabri Ben-Achour

Warren Buffett and his Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway will buy the manufacturing supplier Precision Castparts Corp., which makes the metal pieces that go into turbines and aircraft engines. Price tag: $32 billion.

It's Berkshire's biggest deal to date, and it comes during a very busy year for mergers and acquisitions.

“By the time the dust settles, it may even be the largest ever,” says Anant Sundaram, professor of finance at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Doctor housecalls are back with the click of button

Aug 10, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Mukta Mohan

In this on-demand economy, there’s an app for pretty much anything. Do you want Thai food? Done. Need a ride to the airport? A car will be at your place in 10 minutes. Want a custom-tailored shirt? Yes, there’s an app for that too. So why wait for a doctor?

Dr. Renee Dua is trying to change the way we approach doctor visits. We visited her office in Santa Monica and asked her how she went from being a nephrologist to running a tech company called Heal.

Marketplace Tech for Monday, August 10, 2015

Aug 10, 2015
Marketplace

Airing on Monday, August 10, 2015: Demo day for 500 Startups, and how a group of Ariana Grande fans uncovered a catfishing scheme.

PODCAST: Warren Buffet's big purchase

Aug 10, 2015
David Brancaccio

Warren Buffet's big purchase, back-to-school tax breaks, and supply and demand in the housing market.

A lack of supply drives up housing prices

Aug 10, 2015
Ben Markus

Home prices in the U.S. have risen consistently for the last three years. By that measure, the housing market looks pretty good, but the prices are being driven by a severe lack of supply. And that’s discouraging for many buyers, especially in some of the hottest markets, like Denver.

Take the case of new mom Robin Smith. Her apartment in Denver was too small for her growing family. So Smith and her husband went looking for a house. They found one in the suburbs they really liked, a four-bedroom place listed for $259,000.

Back to school sales with a tax break

Aug 10, 2015
Mitchell Hartman

Consumers are feeling relatively upbeat these days and retail sales are up more than 4 percent year over year, says economist Russell Price at Ameriprise Financial. But he says “back-to-school sales can fluctuate quite a bit” because of popular clothing trends among teens or hot new electronic items like tablet computers.

How independent businesses kept New Orleans afloat

Aug 10, 2015
Marketplace

Panera and Starbucks are fine, but Laurel Street Bakery is something different. Hillary Guttman, the proprietor, recalls no chain coffee places opening near her in the weeks that followed the flood. First responders were a hungry market themselves.

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