McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Business Budget for Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Updated at 9 p.m. EDT (0100 UTC)
This budget is now available on MCT Direct at http://www.mctdirect.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.
^Fed's Beige Book reports moderate growth in most of nation<
FED-BEIGEBOOK:LA _ The economy grew at a moderate pace in most of the nation this summer as consumer spending rose and the housing recovery continued, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in its periodic Beige Book report.
The overview of conditions in the central bank's 12 regions indicated that economic growth was picking up at the start of the second half of the year. The economy grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first half of the year.
An improving recovery could lead Fed policymakers to start reducing their stimulus efforts this month.
350 by Jim Puzzanghera in Washington. MOVED
^Detroit automakers don't have enough cars to sell<
AUTO-AUTOSALES:LA _ Strong August auto sales numbers revealed a problem last month that Ford, General Motors and Chrysler once would have begged for _ not enough cars to sell.
All three automakers posted double-digit gains in sales last month and they reported tight inventories on some models.
600 by Jerry Hirsch in Los Angeles. MOVED
^When clicks aren't enough, online retailers become old-fashioned stores<
^RETAIL-OFFLINE-BIZPLUS:SJ_ But in August, the high-end artificial Christmas tree manufacturer opened a brick-and-mortar store to display its towering and bejeweled artificial trees, which have until now mostly been confined to cyberspace.
Redwood City, Calif.-based Balsam Hill becomes the latest successful online retailer to venture offline and into the physical retail world in a role reversal that seems to defy the booming e-commerce industry. While traditional brick-and-mortar merchants struggle to capture consumers who increasingly shop from their smartphones and tablets, some online-only retailers are adding physical stores to improve sales and attract new customers who may discover the street address before the Web address, retail industry experts say.
950 (with trims) by Heather Somerville. MOVED
^Samsung unveils Galaxy Gear, Galaxy Note III and Galaxy Note 10.1<
^CPT-SAMSUNG:LA_ At a press event in Berlin, the South Korean tech giant unveiled the Galaxy Gear, which connects with smartphones to let users see incoming text messages as well as make and receive voice calls.
Alongside the smartwatch, Samsung also unveiled the Galaxy Note III, the latest version of its tablet/smartphone hybrid device.
100 by Salvador Rodriguez in Los Angeles. MOVED
^CPT-SAMSUNG-GALAXYGEAR:LA_ 500 by Salvador Rodriguez. MOVED
^Google, eBay set sights on same-day delivery<
^CPT-SAMEDAY-DELIVERY:SJ_ Five months after Google Inc. unveiled an experiment delivering everything from Target bed sheets to American Eagle blue jeans to parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, the company is preparing to expand same-day delivery to more shoppers across the region. Google Shopping Express will add pressure to companies like eBay Inc. that are growing their own same-day delivery programs in what has become a fierce race between tech giants.
1200 (with trims) by Heather Somerville. MOVED
^New digital dating app Twine looks to dig deeper<
CPT-TWINE:SJ _ Liz Azevedo, who's 23 and single, has been using a new flirting/dating application called Twine to electronically connect with men here even though she does not know their names and has no idea what they look like.
Twine, which launched July 31, wants its users to form substantive connections based on common interests, instead of relying on appearances like most of the other dating apps on the market.
950 (with trims) by Dan Nakaso in San Francisco. MOVED
^With Google's Photo Sphere, users contribute photos of remote spots<
^CPT-GOOGLE-PHOTOSPHERE:LA_ The images have redefined the way people navigate, turning two-dimensional maps into a virtual tour guide.
But Google is seeing even more possibilities for one of the most popular Web tools. The search giant wants to turn your smartphone into a Street View camera and help it take 360-degree, interactive pictures of every nook and cranny on Earth.
850 by Salvador Rodriguez. MOVED
^Amazon's newest Kindle Paperwhite: brighter, faster <
CPT-AMAZON-PAPERWHITE:SE _ Amazon.com has begun to update its Kindle e-reader business, offering some modest tweaks to its Kindle Paperwhite device to make it brighter and faster.
The new Paperwhite, the same size and weight as the current model, is available for pre-order on Amazon's website now. The Wi-Fi version is priced at $119 with ads and $139 without. The company says it will start shipping those devices Sept. 30.
A version with 3G connectivity will cost $189 and begin shipping Nov. 5.
400 by Jay Greene in Seattle. MOVED
^Review: SunBriteTV can take a beating<
^CPT-SUNBRITETV-REVIEW:LA_ But I wasn't testing just any television set _ I was messing with a model by SunBriteTV, a California company that specializes in TVs built for the outdoors.
SunBriteTV has been making outdoor TVs since 2004, and it sells its sets to regular consumers for their homes as well as to large companies.
900 by Salvador Rodriguez. MOVED
^McDonald's mulls raising prices nationwide in Dollar Menu revamp<
MCDONALDS:LA _ The Dollar Menu at McDonald's may soon see higher prices and new offerings as the fast-food company mulls a nationwide launch of a "Dollar Menu and More" concept this year, a spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.
McDonald's Corp., which has recently struggled to compete with other fast-food giants, said it is considering changing its Dollar Menu, introduced 10 years ago, to evolve with shifting consumer preferences and the needs of the business.
300 by Ricardo Lopez in Los Angeles. MOVED
^Today's market report<
^MARKETS:MK_ 600 by MarketWatch staff. MOVED
These features regularly move on Wednesday:
^CPT-WOLVERTON-COLUMN:SJ_ 950 by Troy Wolverton. MOVED
^CPT-TECHQA:MS_ 500 by Steve Alexander. MOVED
^CPT-STUMPTHEGEEKS:RA_ By Tyler Dukes. (Not moving this week.)
^CPT-TECHREVIEW:DA_ 700 by Jim Rossman. MOVED
^CPT-HELPWARE:MCT_ 450 by Harold Glicken. MOVED
^CPT-WEBWINNERS:PH_ 350 by Reid Kanaley. MOVED
350 by Reid Kanaley. (Not moving this week)
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