Economy & Business

Economy
4:20 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Home Prices Mark Biggest Gains Since 2006

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 10:42 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And before the ball dropped in Times Square last night, new numbers came out on the housing market, and they showed the past year saw the biggest gains in home prices since 2006.

NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

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All Tech Considered
1:58 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Banks Try To Save Big With 'ATMs Of The Future'

An ATM at a Chase lobby in New York is part of what company executives are touting as a "branch of the future" — a place where machines distribute exact change and count cash so tellers don't have to.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 10:42 am

There's a drive-thru ATM in Charlotte, N.C., that looks pretty standard, but it has an extra function: a button that says "speak with teller."

The face of a woman wearing a headset sitting in front of a plain blue background flashes onto the ATM screen. "Good afternoon," she says. "Welcome to Bank of America. My name is Carolina. How are you today?"

She's one of a cadre of Bank of America employees in Florida and Delaware call centers, where they remotely control ATMs across the country. I ask for $26.

"Just a $1, a $5 and $20," I say.

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The Two-Way
7:10 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Target Says Some Of Its Gift Cards 'Not Properly Activated'

Target says a small percentage of the gift cards it sold won't work properly — more bad news following on the heels of a security breach affecting some 40 million credit and debit cards.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

It's not been a very good holiday season for Target.

First, it was the pre-Christmas announcement that 40 million credit and debit card accounts used for purchases at the retail chain had been hacked, even though the company later said the "strongly encrypted PIN data" that were breached shouldn't be at risk.

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The Salt
5:07 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Here's How Young Farmers Looking For Land Are Getting Creative

Chris and Sara Guerre are among a growing number of farmers who have made the choice to rent land to farm instead of buy because of increasing property values.
Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 7:02 pm

Across the country, there's a wave of interest in local food. And a new generation of young farmers is trying to grow it.

Many of these farmers — many of whom didn't grow up on farms — would like to stay close to cities. After all, that's where the demand for local food is.

The problem is, that's where land is most expensive. So young farmers looking for affordable land are forced to get creative.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Out Like A Bull: 2013 Was A Banner Year For Wall Street

Philips Lighting North America CEO and President Bruno Biasiotta rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 12:17 pm

U.S. stocks in 2013 posted their best showing since 1997, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 26.5 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index up 29.6 percent and the Nasdaq up 38 percent.

NPR's Jim Zarroli says Wall Street's stellar performance was set against the backdrop of a U.S. economy that continued to limp along.

Brad McMillan, the chief financial officer at Commonwealth Financial Network, tells NPR "The stock market surprised everybody."

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Business
4:02 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Cabbing Home From That New Year's Party? Expect To Pay A Premium

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's the last night of the year, a big night for party-hopping and, of course, some bubbly. And that also means it's the biggest night of the year for cab companies. The surge in demand starts right after the clock strikes 12 and quickly outstrips supply. That mismatch can send prices soaring, depending on who's doing the driving. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports several ride services have come up with some solutions to try to manage the crunch.

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Business
4:02 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Boeing Soars Despite A Turbulent 2013

A Boeing 737 takes off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va. Demand remains high for 737s and 777s, helping the company weather problems with its 787 earlier this year.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:56 pm

On the very first Monday of 2013, Boeing got some bad news: There was a catastrophic battery fire on a 787 parked at Boston's Logan International Airport. Less than two weeks later, a second battery meltdown on another 787 prompted an emergency landing in Japan.

Government regulators responded quickly. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered the entire fleet of 787s grounded indefinitely.

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Economy
3:55 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

2013 Was A Tremendous Year...At Least For The Stock Market

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:20 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

2013 was a so-so time for the U.S. economy, but it was a banner year for the stock market. Investors poured money into stocks, driving up prices to record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the year up 26 percent. The S&P 500 did even better. NPR's Jim Zarroli looks at how the market defied expectations.

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Around the Nation
3:46 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course

Students at the Oakland Military Institute took several courses offered by San Jose State and the online course provider Udacity this year. The university is now scaling back its relationship with Udacity.
Laura A. Oda MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:23 pm

One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.

In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.

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Number Of The Year
9:40 am
Tue December 31, 2013

From Pandas To Health Care: The 13 Numbers Of 2013

Johann Balleis / Adam Cole Wikimedia Commons / NPR

0: Twitter collected no profit, Snapchat collected no revenue, and Apple's stock has roughly stayed flat over the past year. But in Silicon Valley, where companies are judged by potential, zero is still something.

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