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 Tobacco firms get breathing room; Companies no longer have to pay farmers $1 billion a year
USA TODAY, September 3, 2015 Thursday

 The tobacco industry is breathing easier after the end of a federal assessment that forced cigarette manufacturers, cigar companies and chew makers to make 10 years of payments to farmers, averaging nearly $1 billion annually. The expiration of the Tobacco Transition Payment Program has bolstered the bottom line of Big Tobacco after years of tax increases and declines in smoking, The annual savings equal about 2.4% of the U.S. tobacco industry's annual revenue -- or about 9.9% of its profit --...
 Apple has (Big) Blueprint for enterprise market; With help from IBM, iPhones, iPads, Macs are more mainstream
USA TODAY, September 3, 2015 Thursday

 Apple's move Monday to partner with Cisco Systems to integrate iPhones and iPads into office communications is the latest step in the company's increasingly focused plan to invade the enterprise market.
 Despite Market Turmoil, ADP Reports Growth in Private Sector Hiring
The New York Times, September 3, 2015 Thursday

 WASHINGTON -- Private employers in the United States maintained a steady pace of hiring in August despite recent turmoil in the global financial markets, suggesting that labor market momentum remains strong enough for the Federal Reserve to consider an interest rate increase this year. The ADP National Employment Report, released on Wednesday, showed that private payrolls increased 190,000 last month. While that was below economists' expectations for a gain of 201,000 jobs, it was a step up...
 U.S. Markets Close Higher, Though Concerns About Global Growth Linger
The New York Times, September 3, 2015 Thursday

 Stocks in the United States bounced back on Wednesday, a day after another sell-off on the global markets, even as worries about economic growth persisted. The decline on Tuesday followed a weak Chinese report on manufacturing that heightened broader concerns about global economic growth. Some analysts said it was too early to tell whether Wednesday's market gains were a sign that stocks were close to bottoming out.   ''We are getting a little bit of a letup today, but the headache may...
 Founder of Net-a-Porter Resigns as Chairwoman
The New York Times, September 3, 2015 Thursday

 LONDON -- Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter and the woman who persuaded high fashion that it had a home online, is leaving the British luxury e-commerce group she built, just five months after announcing a merger with its Italian archrival, Yoox. She resigned shortly after selling her shares in Net-a-Porter, which were valued at 100 million pounds, or $153 million.
 Corporations are adding cyber pros to boards in fight against hackers
The Seattle Times, August 31, 2015 Monday

 The board of directors at construction and engineering company Parsons Corp. needed to fill a seat two years ago. Naturally, the board wanted someone with communication and leadership skills. It also needed someone new: an expert to help it battle computer hackers, cyberthieves, electronic spies, digital vandals and anybody else out to wreak havoc in a connected world. The privately held firm's latest board member is Suzanne Vautrinot, a retired Air Force major general who helped create the...
 Amazon gives its Dash Button an extra push; Eleven brands are added to the unique Wi-Fi-based ordering service
Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2015 Thursday

 Need some Ice Breakers breath mints but don't want to leave your house? There's a button for that.
 SALES GRIDLOCK?; Carmakers fear turmoil in China, which eclipses U.S. in sales
Los Angeles Times, September 3, 2015 Thursday

 A decade ago, Chinese drivers bought just 6 million cars annually, less than a tenth of the vehicles sold worldwide. By last year, after an explosion of wealth for the middle and upper classes there, they bought almost 24 million vehicles -- accounting for more than a quarter of global sales and a huge share of profits for major automakers. Cars have become a key symbol of success among the Chinese. That's why automakers such as Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen are watching the turmoil in...
 H&R Block shares jump 6.7 percent as buyback details emerge
The Kansas City Star, September 2, 2015 Wednesday

 Shares of H&R Block Inc. jumped 6.7 percent in morning trading as the company commenced a 4-year, $3.5 billion stock buyback plan. The stock climbed $2.22 a share, or 6.74 percent, to $35.17. It's climb more than offset the $1.07 decline Tuesday before the company .
 Former Apple Music Executive Ian Rogers Moves to LVMH
The New York Times, September 2, 2015 Wednesday

 Ian Rogers, the music executive at Apple who stunned the industry last week with news of his departure, has revealed his new job: chief digital officer at LVMH, whose brands include Louis Vuitton and Moët & Chandon.
 GE Capital's Australian Units Said to Be Receiving Final Bids From 3
The New York Times, September 2, 2015 Wednesday

 SYDNEY, Australia -- GE Capital has three final participants in the final round of an auction of its Australian commercial lending and leasing businesses, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.
 McDonald's rolls dice on plan to roll out all-day breakfast nationwide
The Washington Post, September 2, 2015 Wednesday

 For years, adoring fans have pleaded with McDonald's to extend its breakfast menu beyond the current 10:30 a.m. cutoff. For just as long, the fast-food behemoth has shrugged off the ask, saying it doesn't have the capacity to make breakfast and everything else at the same time. Flipping burgers and frying eggs, they have sighed seemingly every month, is simply too tall a task for the more than 14,000 restaurants around the United States. But finally Americans are getting their wish.
 Google's logo gets more modern makeover
The Washington Post, September 2, 2015 Wednesday

 Google on Tuesday debuted a new look for its familiar logo. The letters in Google's name are still in the same four colors - yellow, blue, red and green - but the font has been updated to lose its serifs and evoke a cleaner, more modern style.
 Fiat Chrysler CEO pushes pursuit of GM
Detroit Free Press (Michigan), September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne may have ratcheted up the rhetoric surrounding a potential merger with General Motors but - at least for now - it doesn't appear his idea will be gaining traction anytime soon, even though the potential cost savings are vast. That's too bad, according to former Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda, who in 2008, along with then-GM CEO Fritz Henderson, led a review of the benefits of a combination of the two automakers as they faced monstrous market headwinds at the...
 Dollar Tree: Family Dollar helped boost company's sales 48 percent
Charlotte Observer (North Carolina), September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 In its first earnings report as a combined company, Dollar Tree said Tuesday that thanks to its , quarterly sales were up more than 48 percent from a year ago.  Despite the rise, the Virginia-based discount retailer's second quarter revenue missed Wall Street expectations because total sales were still lower than analysts had expected.
 Apple, Cisco court corporate customers
The Boston Globe, September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 The alliance announced Monday calls for Cisco to ensure that corporate Internet connections relying on its gear deliver content quickly to iPhones and iPads. SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is leaning on Cisco Systems' Internet networking expertise in its latest attempt to sell more iPhones and iPads to corporate customers.
 Google, Sanofi team up to target diabetes; System aimed at allowing online monitoring, treatment
The Boston Globe, September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 GENEVA — Google Inc.'s life science unit is still seeking a name, but it already has a foe: diabetes. The US Internet giant on Monday agreed to work with the French drug maker Sanofi to devise new ways of managing a disease that afflicts 382 million people worldwide, adding to recent deals with Novartis AG and DexCom Inc. The companies did not disclose financial details of the agreement. Andy Conrad, the head of Google's life science team, said diabetes is precisely the kind of disease in which...
 Biotech's merger targets fight back
The Boston Globe, September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 They say the best defense is a good offense. The biotech business is abuzz with takeover offers right now, and some of those targets don't like being in someone else's crosshairs. Case in point: a series of events triggered by Shire PLC, the Irish company that runs much of its biotech business out of Lexington. Once the target of a $54 billion takeover offer from AbbVie Inc., Shire went on the offensive and recently made a $30 billion bid of its own for Baxalta Inc., the large life science...
 Walmart cutting some workers' hours
The Boston Globe, September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the midst of spending $1 billion to raise employees' wages and give them extra training, has been cutting the number of hours some of them work in a bid to keep costs in check. Regional executives told store managers at the retailer's annual holiday planning meeting this month to rein in expenses by cutting worker hours they've added beyond those allocated to them based on sales projections.
 United to join S&P 500 index; Hospira to exit
Chicago Tribune, September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 Two Chicago-area companies will swap places in the widely watched S&P 500 index, with Chicago-based United Continental Holdings replacing Lake Forest-based Hospira, which is being acquired by Pfizer. The swap will happen after the close of trading on Wednesday, S&P Dow Jones Indices announced. United, parent of United Airlines, will also be added to an index that tracks airline stocks, the S&P 500 GICS Airlines Sub-Industry index. ct15 0027 150901 N S 0000000000
 Samsung unveils smartwatch; Company hopes latest wearable will be one that finally grabs public's attention
USA TODAY, September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 Samsung is making another push into the increasingly competitive smartwatch market. Ahead of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, the electronics giant unveiled the Gear S2 smartwatch Monday. The device boasts a circular design with rotating bezel -- the ring surrounding the display -- as well as a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen. Samsung says the rotating bezel will offer a "more precise method" for accessing apps or notifications.
 Hotels Compete With Travel Sites
The New York Times, September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 For years, travelers have been drawn to online sites like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and Priceline to find and reserve hotel rooms, flights and rental cars. Hotels welcomed the system -- or at least learned to live with it -- even though the business came at the cost of substantial commissions. But now they are fighting back.   With the online giants consolidating and potentially tightening their hold on travel bookings, major hotel chains are offering a host of benefits to lure travelers to...
 Oil Futures Rise 8% in 3rd Gain in a Row
The New York Times, September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 Oil futures soared on Monday for a third consecutive day, rising more than 8 percent, as a downward revision of United States crude production data and the readiness of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to talk with other producers helped extend the biggest price surge in 25 years.
 FARMS TO FRIDGES; Amazon tests delivery of farmers market goods to customers
Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 A new service from online retail powerhouse will deliver herbs from Maggie's Farm, Mangalitsa pork from Peads & Barnetts and black cod from Wild Local Seafood -- direct to your doorstep with just a mouse click. Amazon has rolled out its new Farmers Market Direct program in Southern California, in partnership with Fresh Nation, a start-up in Stamford, Conn., that launched in 2013. Fresh Nation has begun delivering farmers market products through Amazon in Los Angeles, Orange and San...
 Wal-Mart cuts workers' hours after raises; After wage increase, earning fell short of expectations
The Tampa Tribune (Florida), September 1, 2015 Tuesday

 Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in the midst of spending $1 billion to raise employees' wages and give them extra training, has been cutting the number of hours some of them work in a bid to keep costs in check.

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