Economy & Business

Business news

How do dollar stores buck inflation?

Sep 19, 2016
Mitchell Hartman

Marketplace listener Doray Sitko, of Austin, Texas, sent us this question: “How can the dollar store still be the dollar store? A lot of the products that I was purchasing for a dollar years ago, I’m still purchasing for a dollar today. And I wonder how they can maintain that dollar price-point—seemingly indifferent to inflation or cost of living?”

First, some definitions.

Using data and algorithms to style men

Sep 19, 2016
Kai Ryssdal and Daisy Palacios

Stitch Fix, the online personal styling service, has launched Stitch Fix Men, bringing its successful women’s service to men in the US. The decision to add men’s apparel to the company comes from its success and strong client demand, says Mike Smith, General Manager of Stitch Fix Men.

"Since the beginning of Stitch Fix launching, we’ve had our women clients asking for Stitch Fix Men for their boyfriends, for their husbands," says Smith. "We feel like now is the right time given the success of the women’s business and we feel that men are being under-served in retail today."

Chinese investors are buying up French farmland

Sep 19, 2016
John Laurenson

Driving down a country lane through what the poet Péguy, writing about this part of France, described as "oceans of wheat", the farmer and local farmers’ union leader Hervé Coupeau points right and left.

"From here, everything you can see belongs to the Chinese," he said.

French farms are very often farmed by the same families for generations. But in the Berry, the heart of French cereal farming in the center of the country, Chinese buyers have been purchasing farmland in order to assure food supplies for their growing population.

A single pipeline leak slows the Southeast

Sep 19, 2016

A leaking gasoline pipeline that was shut down in Alabama last week continues to cause problems for parts of the Southeast, as reduced supplies have some retailers looking for alternative ways to obtain fuel.

Multiple states have declared states of emergency, highlighting the vulnerability caused by an aging infrastructure.

Marketplace for Monday, September 19, 2016

Sep 19, 2016

Why a boring part of the market is going crazy, how Amazon ran away with the Emmys and where a pipeline leak can slow down a whole region. Plus: how do dollar stores outrun inflation?

How Japan's economy can influence the Fed

Sep 19, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about the Bank of Japan's impact on the Fed; the S&P 500's new real estate sector; and why one Baton Rouge organization is relying on gift cards to help flood victims. 

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Much of the anger and anxiety in the 2016 election are fueled by the sense that economic opportunity is slipping away for many Americans. This week, as part of NPR's collaborative project with member stations, A Nation Engaged, we're asking the question: What can be done to create economic opportunity for more Americans?

Lane Wallace

Today Citigroup is out with its latest national election forecast, and it has upped the Republican candidate’s chances of winning from 35 percent to 40 percent since last month.

Noah Feldman

The recent flooding in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana displaced over 120,000 people from their homes. Many people ended up crashing with family or friends, not staying in shelters. But relief organizations still direct supplies and donations to those shelters. So a group called Together Baton Rouge had another idea that would get people what they need, when they need it, and help disaster relief keep up with the times.

Patti Clement lost her car, her house, and almost everything inside it during the August flooding.

S&P 500 gives real estate a sector all its own

Sep 19, 2016
Gigi Douban

As of today, there’s a new kid on the block in the world of S&P 500 sectors: real estate. Until now,  the S&P Dow Jones Indices had lumped real estate in with the financial sector. This makes real estate the 11th sector in the S&P 500, which rarely adds categories. But experts say it was time.  

Imagine the S&P is like that grandmother who pinches your cheeks and tells you how big you’ve gotten. Also, you’re the homecoming queen. Everyone wants a piece of you. Grandma, or the S&P, talks your parents into giving you your very own room.

D Gorenstein

California hopes to become the first state to allow undocumented immigrants to buy insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.

California officials are finalizing an application, asking the Obama administration for permission to do it.

Under the plan, undocumented immigrants wouldn’t get federal or state subsidies.

But State Senator Ricardo Lara said what more than half a million people could get is insurance.

JaeRan Kim

Green iguanas have inundated the largest of the Cayman Islands and are gobbling up landscaped environments as well as native flora as they multiply largely unchecked.

An expert familiar with the invasion on Grand Cayman said the population could seriously damage the island’s native habitat.

Marketplace Tech for Monday, September 19, 2016

Sep 19, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about GoPro's entrance into the drone market, and how Google subsidiary Jigsaw is trying to make the internet safer for people around the world.