<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Business News - Money, Financial & Corporate News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/business http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usMon, 22 May 2017 19:06:59 -0500Mon, 22 May 2017 19:06:59 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Tesla Workers Suffer Fainting Spells, Dizziness: Report]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 20:48:15 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-479833756-Musk.jpg

Workers at Tesla's car factory in California have been fainting, experiencing dizziness and even having seizures, often requiring medical attention.

The symptoms have led to more than 100 calls for ambulances since 2014, according to incident reports obtained by the Guardian newspaper, which first reported the story Thursday.

Company CEO Elon Musk acknowledged that workers are "having a hard time, working long hours, and on hard jobs," but he also said he cared deeply about their health and well-being.

In a blog post published Sunday, the company said: “Tesla's safety record is much better than industry average, but it is not enough.”



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<![CDATA[US Dollar Surges After Traders Speculate on Trump ]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 14:48:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/stockmarketsgeneric_1200x675.jpg

The U.S. dollar suddenly surged against the British pound and other currencies Thursday after the reemergence of former FBI Director James Comey saying Trump never asked to end the probe, reported CNBC.

The month old CSPAN video was interpreted as former FBI Director James Comey saying he was never pressured to end an FBI probe.

However, in the video, Comey is answering a question specific to the U.S. Attorney General or "senior officials at the Department of Justice," not President Donald Trump.

However, multiple traders said this was the trigger for the move higher in the dollar, as well as the Dow Jones industrial average, which hit a new high for the day shortly after the initial currency move.



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<![CDATA[Companies Stashing Bitcoin in Anticipation of Cyberattacks]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 07:11:47 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bitcoins.jpg

Companies are stockpiling bitcoins in preparation of future "ransomware" attacks, which have grown exponentially over the past few years, NBC News reported. 

According to cybersecurity experts and firms, about a third of British companies in 2016 retained a cache of digital monies as part of a strategy to "regain access to important intellectual property or business critical data." 

They keep Bitcoin on hand — which currently exchanges for about $1,800 per unit — because government agencies don't necessarily have a fix for institutions once hackers have taken hold of their files, and its cybercriminals' preferred payment method.

The most recent cyberattack, known as "WannaCry," took hundreds of thousands of computers' data files hostage unless users paid a $300 to $600 ransom via Bitcoin.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[$martMoney]]> Tue, 08 May 2012 09:08:56 -0500 ]]> <![CDATA[Cisco to Cut 1,100 More Jobs Amid Worse-Than-Expected Outlook]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 18:28:18 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/CISCO_AP_16229651180299.jpg

Cisco announced Wednesday that it will be cutting 1,100 employees as part of its expanded restructuring plan.

The new job cuts come only months after the enterprise technology company cut 5,500 jobs — seven percent of its workforce, as CNBC reported. 

The announcement came as the company reported better-than-expected earnings for the fiscal third quarter, but worse-than-feared forward guidance. Shares fell more than 5 percent after hours.

Cisco said last year it plans to reinvest the savings from its restructuring plan into "key priority areas such as security, IoT, collaboration, next-generation data center and cloud."



Photo Credit: AP Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Stocks Suffer Worst Day of the Year Amid White House Chaos]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 15:14:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/wall-street-sign.jpg

U.S. stocks closed sharply lower on Wednesday as investors digested the latest news out of Washington, with the Dow Jones averagine about 370 points lower, Goldman Sachs contributing the most losses, CNBC reported.

The broader S&P 500 and Nasdaq also lagged, dropping 1.8 percent and 2.6 percent respectively.

Stocks had rallied all year in part because of hope for lower corporate taxes. But "an impeachment proceeding would blow the market away," former General Electric CEO Jack Welch told CNBC.

"This is clearly Washington-driven," said Michael Shaoul, chairman and CEO of Marketfield Asset Management. "It's a lot like 1998-99, when the market had to deal with the [Monica] Lewinsky scandal."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Lucky Charms to Give Away Boxes with Marshmallows Only]]> Wed, 17 May 2017 12:45:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/luckycharms.jpg

General Mills is holding a contest to give away 10,000 boxes of Lucky Charms filled with only marshmallows.

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<![CDATA[Outage Jolts Starbucks Customers at Some Stores]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 14:02:35 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/511143580-Starbucks-generic.jpg

Customers at some Starbucks shops hit a snag Tuesday while trying to fill up their coffee cups, CNBC reported

Registers were knocked offline by a technology update that was being installed overnight, the coffee chain said. 

Starbucks said the glitch was affecting "a limited number of locations" in the U.S. and Canada on Tuesday morning.

"The stores will remain open during this time and, as always, our partners are prepared to take care of our customers to ensure they have the best experience possible," the company said. 

Reports on Twitter showed some patrons scoring free cups of joe at affected locations.

By the afternoon "virtually" all store were in the clear, a spokesman told The Associated Press. 




Photo Credit: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[How to Stay Safe If an Active Shooter Comes to Your Job]]> Tue, 16 May 2017 09:57:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/active-shooter-training-GettyImages-567382253.jpg

Active shooter scenarios are unpredictable but now more and more businesses want to be prepared.

One security consulting firm said inquiries about what to do have surged after recent workplace tragedies in South Florida and across the United States.

"Unfortunately, because of these incidents, our workplace violence consulting program has skyrocketed," said D.C. Page, with Andrews International.

Page, a senior vice president for the security consulting firm, says Andrews International works with businesses by assessing their security risks and educating employees.

"Be prepared. It’s something you have to think about and its part of our culture right now. So, corporations need to build that into the fabric of the business and the everyday workplace," said Page.

According to research, in 2012, there were 463 workplace homicides. Eighty-one percent were the result of a shooting.

The basic advice has three main components: run, hide or fight.

  • Run if you can, get out of the building as quickly as possible
  • Hide, and use a piece of furniture to secure a door shut
  • Fighting is the last resort, but grab something like a fire extinguisher or other object to help defend yourself

"We get down to the granular levels so employees understand their environment first," Page said. "That’s the most important part. They have some kind of plan in their mind as to what they would do, where the exits are and things like that. And, then the run-hide-fight scenario."

Companies like Andrews International not only provide consulting, but also security guards who are trained for active shooters.



Photo Credit: LA Times via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Whole Foods Shakes Up Board as Key Sales Figure Falls Again]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 16:38:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Whole+Foods.png

Whole Food Markets on Wednesday announced a shakeup of its board and named a new CFO as it works to turn around its struggling business, which has seen seven straight quarters of same-store sales decline.

Keith Manbeck was tapped for chief financial officer, effective May 17, CNBC reported. Most recently, Manbeck was senior vice president of digital finance, strategy management and business transformation at Kohl's.

Meanwhile, the grocer also named five new independent directors to its board, effective immediately, and tapped Gabrielle Sulzberger as its chair.



Photo Credit: NBC 5]]>
<![CDATA[Snap Plunges on First Earnings Report as Public Company]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 16:41:51 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/snapchatonwallst_1200x675.jpg

Snap, parent company of social media site Snapchat, reported quarterly financial results for the first time on Wednesday, posting revenue that missed estimates and slower-than-expected user growth.

Shares plummeted more than 19 percent in after-hours trading.

Since its initial public offering in early March, Snap has faced an uphill battle to convince Wall Street it can make money with advertising, even with Facebook and Google dominating the market.

While its $3.9 billion initial stock sale in early March was the largest U.S. IPO in more than two years, the company has consistently reported huge losses.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Amazon Fires Back at Wal-Mart, Lowers Free Shipping Minimum]]> Wed, 10 May 2017 08:02:34 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/AP_93380942358.jpg

Amazon has lowered its free shipping threshold from $35 to $25, undercutting Wal-Mart by $10 and escalating a battle between the the e-commerce giant and the largest big-box retailer, CNBC reported.

Earlier this year, the Seattle-based company reduced its minimum order amount required to qualify for free shipping — for non-Prime members — to $35 from $49, price tracker BestBlackFriday first reported.

Amazon did not officially announce the decrease, but its website now reads that online orders of $25 or more are eligible for free 5-8 days shipping on eligible items.





Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Target Testing Next-Day Delivery Service]]> Tue, 09 May 2017 07:09:25 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/target.png

Target is getting into the next-day home delivery business. 

Seen by business insiders as a way to compete with Amazon Prime, the Minnesota-based chain plans to pilot Target Restock this summer for customers in the Minneapolis area. Target currently is testing the service with select employees at its headquarters.

"We created Target Restock to save busy guests time," store reps said in an online release," and make it easier than ever to get household essentials delivered quickly. This is another example of how Target is connecting stores and digital to create new services for guests."

Household essentials like laundry detergent, paper towels and coffee will be packaged at a nearby store, allowing for delivery the next day.

The move is part of Target's effort to boost its e-commerce platform as Amazon continues to dominate the online marketplace. 

Once the pilot is live, Minneapolis-area customers with REDcards will be eligible to visit a "dedicated online experience to access thousands of household essentials."

They can fill their virtual cart, and if placed before 1:30 p.m., the order will arrive the next business day.

"We’re busy fine-tuning the experience and testing various enhancements – so stay tuned for more information once the pilot launches this summer," Target says.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Pledges $1 Billion Boost to US Manufacturing ]]> Wed, 03 May 2017 18:28:46 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/188*120/apple-GettyImages-516837044.jpg

Apple plans to start a $1 billion fund to create more advanced manufacturing jobs in the United States, company CEO Tim Cook told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer on Wednesday.

As CNBC reports, the fund fits into Apple’s efforts to promote and create jobs within its own sector and within its own company. The fund's creation also comes amid President Donald Trump’s ongoing promises to bring lost manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

Cook said he hopes the investment will spur even more job creation.

"By doing that, we can be the ripple in the pond. Because if we can create many manufacturing jobs around, those manufacturing jobs create more jobs around them because you have a service industry that builds up around them," he said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[George Lucas' Son, Heavy Metal Mag Launching Weed Magazine]]> Tue, 02 May 2017 16:00:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/marijuana-kids-warned.jpg

The son of “Star Wars” creator George Lucas and Heavy Metal Magazine are set to launch a new publication in Chicago and across the country – a weed magazine.

Though it is still in pre-production, Jett Lucas, the adopted son of George Lucas, and Heavy Metal CEO Jeff Krelitz revealed plans to debut their newest project at newstands across the country in September.

Part of the production will take place in Chicago, the pair said during a weekend event in the city’s West Town neighborhood honoring their upcoming venture.

“This city will be a big part of it,” he said, surrounded by those well-known to Chicago’s art scene.

And that’s fitting, given the duo’s goal for the magazine.

“We want to do for cannabis culture what Playboy did for cocktail culture,” Lucas told NBC 5.

Krelitz added the magazine will be what he calls “edutainment” – a combination of pot news and education as well as entertainment for smokers.

“We want this to be informative but we also want this to be the thing you grab right after you smoke,” Lucas added.

Krelitz said the name of the magazine has not yet been revealed, among other things. He noted they already have their first celebrity lined up for the debut issue.

“It’s going to be big and something very unexpected,” he said.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Bank Shares Rise After Trump Talks of Breaking Up Big Banks]]> Mon, 01 May 2017 15:31:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tru4AP_171015770945192.jpg

President Donald Trump said Monday he is "looking at" breaking up some of the nation's biggest banks, returning to a campaign promise that he'd since seemed to have put on the back burner.

Major averages slipped as the news broke, then rebounded, while government bond yields hit their highs of the day, CNBC reported.

Bank stocks rallied, with investors taking a win-win view: Breaking up the big banks would open business opportunities for smaller institutions, while the large Wall Street firms would be worth more as separate entities than they are combined.

"The theory has always been the sum of the parts is worth considerably more than the whole," said analyst Dick Bove, vice president for equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets.



Photo Credit: AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Great Wolf Resorts Opens New Chicago Headquarters]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 16:27:24 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/218*120/great+wolf+lodge+2.png

North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts has moved its corporate headquarters to Chicago.

Great Wolf Resorts Inc. opened its newest office, dubbed the Wolf Den Chicago, Wednesday inside the Chicago Sun-Times building, located at North Orleans and Kinzie Streets in the city’s River North neighborhood.

The office currently houses 45 so-called “pack members” with the ability to expand to up to 100 employees, the company announced.

“Chicago has the talent and transportation that expanding companies like Great Wolf need to compete in the 21st century economy,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the Wolf Pack continue to grow and thrive in its new den in Chicago.” 

The opening of the new facility follows news that Great Wolf Resorts purchased property in suburban Gurnee, planning to transform the former KeyLime Cove into a “dynamic new family resort.” 

“We’re making a significant investment and placing a rather large paw print in the Chicago area, not only with our new corporate office, but with a new 414-room Great Wolf Lodge resort opening in Gurnee next summer,” Great Wolf Resorts’ Chief Executive Officer Rubén Rodriguez said in a statement.

The company plans to open Great Wolf Lodge Illinois next summer, officials said.

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<![CDATA[World's Largest Starbucks Coming to Chicago]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 18:36:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Chicago_Roastery_1+%281%29.jpg

The world’s largest Starbucks is coming to Chicago.

The coffee chain announced Wednesday that it will open a Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago on North Michigan Avenue in 2019.

According to the company, the four-story roastery will be a “fully sensorial coffee environment dedicated to roasting, brewing and packaging its rare, small-batch Starbucks Reserve coffees from around the world.”

“Chicago’s Magnificent Mile brings in millions of visitors from across this globe and is the perfect location for a world-class coffee destination,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “This Starbucks Reserve Roastery will be an investment in Chicago and a strong addition to Michigan Avenue, where residents and visitors can enjoy incredible coffees from around the world in a remarkable environment.”

The 43,000-square-foot Starbucks will be located at Michigan Avenue and Erie Street, in the current Crate and Barrel building.

"This building has a unique way of becoming a beacon for a brand, and I can’t think of a better retailer than Starbucks to offer Chicago something new and exciting with its Reserve Roastery,” Gordon Segal, founder of Crate and Barrel, said in a statement.

The interactive space will feature multiple brewing methods, a new menu of coffees and mixology and fresh baking on-site.

It will be the third roastery to open in the U.S. behind the flagship Seattle location, which opened in 2014, and one slated to open in New York in 2018.

“Having opened our first Starbucks store in Chicago nearly 30 years ago, our first outside of Seattle, this is a very special city for me," Howard Schultz, Starbucks' executive chairman, said in a statement. "At the time, it was a true test for Starbucks because the Chicago customer is so savvy and discerning about their coffee." 

Starbucks also revealed plans to open a “Reserve” store in Chicago’s West Loop in 2018.



Photo Credit: Starbucks]]>
<![CDATA[Chipotle Reports Payment System Was Hacked]]> Wed, 26 Apr 2017 05:25:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/chipotle9.jpg

Mexican fast food chain Chipotle announced Tuesday that its customer payment system had been breached, CNBC reported.

In a statement on the company's website, Chipotle said it detected "unauthorized activity" on the system. Officials are focusing on credit card transactions that occurred from March 24, 2017, to April 18, 2017.

The restaurant added that the breach has been stopped and additional security measures have been added, though the investigation is ongoing. Chipotle encouraged customers to monitor their card activity.

The announcement came as Chipotle reported better-than-expected sales in the first quarter on Monday.



Photo Credit: Lynne Sladky/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Bebe Is Closing All 175 of Its Stores]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:35:45 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bebe5.jpg

Bebe expects to close all of its brick-and-mortar locations by the end of May, the clothing retailer said in a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The chain had previously said it was committed to closing 21 locations, which represented roughly 12 percent of its total outlets, CNBC reported.

The move comes amid speculation that the company plans to transition to an online-only model.

Bebe didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[MasterCard Rolls Out Cards With Fingerprint Sensor]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 10:07:55 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/MasterCard-34123792165_e987246927_o.jpg

MasterCard is testing payment cards with fingerprint sensors in South Africa and hopes to roll it out to the rest of the world by the end of the year, the company said Thursday. 

The technology works in the same way as it does with mobile phone payments: users must have their finger over the sensor when making a purchase. Upon cardholders' registration, their fingerprint is converted to an encrypted digital template. 

Tech experts have said that while using fingerprints is not foolproof, it is a "sensible" use of biometric technology, the BBC reported.

"Whether unlocking a smartphone or shopping online, the fingerprint is helping to deliver additional convenience and security," Ajay Bhalla, president ofenterprise risk and security, said in a press release. "It’s not something that can be taken or replicated and will help our cardholders get on with their lives knowing their payments are protected."

The biometric verification can only be used for in-store purchases. Online and other so-called "card not present" transactions will still require further security measures, according to the BBC. 



Photo Credit: Courtesy MasterCard]]>