Business

A Hot CPI Report Forces a Rethink of Chances of a Soft Landing
Business

A Hot CPI Report Forces a Rethink of Chances of a Soft Landing

“No landing” Markets are still on edge after Tuesday’s hot inflation report, as Wall Street suddenly and sharply discounted the odds of imminent interest rate cuts.It has also poured cold water on the belief among many investors that the U.S. economy will achieve a “soft landing.”Why so gloomy? The Consumer Price Index report, which came in above economists’ forecasts, is a stark reminder of the challenges that the Fed faces in bringing down inflation to its 2 percent target. Even after excluding volatile energy and food prices, inflation is holding roughly steady and is well above where the central bank feels comfortable.Shelter costs, including rents, also rose above expectations, and “supercore inflation,” a measure the Fed closely follows that includes common “services” expenditures — ...
American Firms Invested $1 Billion in Chinese Chips, Lawmakers Find
Business

American Firms Invested $1 Billion in Chinese Chips, Lawmakers Find

A congressional investigation has determined that five American venture capital firms invested more than $1 billion in China’s semiconductor industry since 2001, fueling the growth of a sector that the United States government now regards as a national security threat.Funds supplied by the five firms — GGV Capital, GSR Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Walden International — went to more than 150 Chinese companies, according to the report, which was released Thursday by both Republicans and Democrats on the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.The investments included roughly $180 million that went to Chinese firms that the committee said directly or indirectly supported Beijing’s military. That includes companies that the U.S. government has said provide ch...
Hate Valentine’s Day? There’s a Market for You, Too.
Business

Hate Valentine’s Day? There’s a Market for You, Too.

Lilly Calman is not in the mood this Valentine’s Day for the flowers, chocolates or a romantic dinner for two, especially after a recent breakup.“I’m very angry,” said Ms. Calman, 26, adding that it had been painful to see all the holiday paraphernalia in store aisles.She found a more fitting outlet for her mood this year: a fund-raiser for the San Antonio zoo that will symbolically name a roach or rodent after an ex and feed it to one of the zoo’s animals.“The visual image of him getting eaten by a Komodo dragon is pretty satisfying,” said Ms. Calman, who donated $25 for the rat option. She is hoping the zoo sends her a video so she can host a screening with a friend. “I love reptiles. I think it’s cool.”The annual campaign has raised over $235,000 since the zoo first ran it in 2020, unde...
Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone
Business

Pro Sports in Las Vegas Aren’t Cheered by Everyone

The history of Las Vegas has been marked by a relentless churn of hotels, casinos, theaters and restaurants. But only recently has the city’s landscape included major professional sports teams.The Golden Knights of the National Hockey League were the first to start play here in 2017. The Aces of the Women’s National Basketball Association started in 2018, and the National Football League’s Raiders arrived from Oakland in 2020. Last year, Major League Baseball’s Athletics were given the go-ahead to make the same Oakland-to-Las Vegas move, and the National Basketball Association is expected to add a team in the coming years.Las Vegas’s transformation into a pro sports town reflects not just the leagues’ interest in the city and their general embrace of sports betting, but also the power of t...
How the Super Bowl Is Affecting Las Vegas (and Carrot Top)
Business

How the Super Bowl Is Affecting Las Vegas (and Carrot Top)

On Tuesday morning, Scott Thompson, the comedian known as Carrot Top, was sipping tea in his dressing room at the Luxor Hotel and Casino, where he has been a headliner for 18 years. Ahead of an afternoon full of appearances on Radio Row, which is the mecca for sports talk radio stations during Super Bowl week, Mr. Thompson was reflecting on the game’s effect on Las Vegas.“I think this is the biggest event we’ve ever had,” Mr. Thompson said.How big? He was wearing a baseball cap with a handmade sticker that read “Need Tickets” across the front. Yes, even Carrot Top has had trouble scoring tickets to the game on Sunday between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.“That’s what everyone says: ‘You’re Carrot Top! You own this town!’” Mr. Thompson said. “But I really can’t get one....
President of Powerful Service Workers Union Will Step Down
Business

President of Powerful Service Workers Union Will Step Down

Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union, one of the nation’s largest and most politically powerful labor unions, announced Tuesday that she would step down after 14 years in her position.Ms. Henry was the first woman elected to lead the union, which represents nearly two million workers like janitors and home health aides in both the public and private sectors.Under her leadership, it launched a major initiative known as the Fight for $15, which sought to organize fast-food workers and push for a $15 minimum wage. Winning over skeptics in the ranks, Ms. Henry argued that the union could make gains through a broad-based campaign that targeted the industry as a whole rather than individual employers.Labor experts and industry officials cite the campaign as ...
The Hospitality Group Redefining Korean Restaurants in New York
Business

The Hospitality Group Redefining Korean Restaurants in New York

Even on a chilly Monday evening, the wait at Cho Dang Gol was more than an hour.Crowds of 20-somethings spilled out of the homey restaurant in Manhattan’s Koreatown, where steam billowed from stone bowls of soondubu jigae in a dining room ornamented with paper lanterns and musical instruments. Some hopeful customers peeked inside, anxious to see if a table had opened up.A few blocks away, diners at Hojokban — a sleeker, more modern restaurant that opened last fall — eagerly snapped photographs of a plate of fried-rice wearing an empty Shin Ramyun noodle cup like a hat. The dish had already gone viral on TikTok.A little to the south, Atomix, a Korean fine-dining restaurant with two Michelin stars, was booked solid through the next month. And the sought-after corn cake at nearby Lysée, a Kor...
A City Built on Steel Tries to Reverse Its Decline
Business

A City Built on Steel Tries to Reverse Its Decline

Gary, Ind., was once a symbol of American innovation. The home of U.S. Steel’s largest mill, Gary churned out the product that built America’s bridges, tunnels and skyscrapers. The city reaped the rewards, with a prosperous downtown and vibrant neighborhoods.Gary’s smokestacks are still prominent along Lake Michigan’s sandy shore, starkly juxtaposed between the eroding dunes and Chicago’s towering silhouette to the northwest. But now they represent a city looking for a fresh start.More than 10,000 buildings sit abandoned, and the population of 180,000 in the 1960s has dropped by more than half. Poverty, crime and an ignoble moniker — “Scary Gary” — deter private investors and prospective homeowners.As U.S. Steel stands at a crossroads — a planned acquisition would put it under foreign cont...
6 Reasons That It’s Hard to Get Your Wegovy and Other Weight-Loss Prescriptions
Business

6 Reasons That It’s Hard to Get Your Wegovy and Other Weight-Loss Prescriptions

About 3.8 million people in the United States — four times the number two years ago — are now taking the most popular weight-loss drugs, according to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science, an industry data provider.Some of these prescriptions are for diabetes. The medicines are Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy (the same drug sold under different brand names), and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro and Zepbound (also the same drug).Pent-up demand is even higher, because many people who want the drugs cannot find or afford them. Without insurance coverage, people have to pay out of their own pockets. If they obtain a coupon offering a discount from Eli Lilly, people with commercial insurance pay $550 a month for Zepbound. For those who are commercially insured, a coupon from Novo Nordisk for Wegovy ...
Walmart to Add 150 U.S. Stores in Five-Year Expansion Drive
Business

Walmart to Add 150 U.S. Stores in Five-Year Expansion Drive

Walmart will add 150 stores in the United States over the next five years, a major expansion drive for the retail giant.The company said the move, which it announced in a statement on Wednesday, would involve millions of dollars in investment. Walmart employs roughly 1.6 million people in the United States, and said it hires hundreds of people each time it opens a new store.Walmart had just over 4,600 stores nationwide at the end of October, down from more than 4,700 a year earlier. The company has not opened a new U.S. store since late 2021.Most of the stores that Walmart plans to open will be newly built, while others will be conversions of existing locations to new formats. The first two new stores will open in the spring, in Florida and Georgia, and the company is completing constructi...