Avie Schneider

Members of the Hartford Courant newsroom are moving to form a union, NPR has learned. It's the latest Tribune Publishing newspaper where journalists have been pushing to organize.

Updated at 9:27 a.m. ET

Job growth picked up for the 100th consecutive month in January even as hundreds of thousands of federal workers were furloughed during the partial government shutdown, the Labor Department said Friday.

Employers added 304,000 jobs last month — topping analysts' expectations and the 223,000 average monthly gain in 2018. The string of job growth underscores the long economic expansion since the Great Recession.

In the latest revelation to raise privacy concerns about Silicon Valley's tech titans, reports have surfaced that Facebook and Google offered adults and teens gift cards for installing apps that would let the companies collect data on their smartphones.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The economy is growing at a "solid rate" and inflation is hovering near the Federal Reserve's target, the central bank said Wednesday. As expected, the Fed did not raise its key interest rate. But in a reversal from December, the Fed said it will be "patient" as it decides when to change them again.

Updated at 9:47 a.m. ET Thursday

Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard who made investing and retirement affordable for millions, died Wednesday at the age of 89, the company said.

Bogle transformed the way people invest their money when he created the first index mutual fund for individual investors in 1975.

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET

A major credit rating agency is warning that it will reconsider the nation's AAA rating if the partial U.S. government shutdown continues into March and raises doubts about the ability of Congress to lift the debt ceiling.

A downgrade of the nation's pristine credit rating could lead to higher borrowing costs for the U.S. Treasury, companies and consumers.

Updated at 4:07 p.m. ET

The markets have been a mess, but companies are still hiring — a lot.

The economy ended the year by adding a much-stronger-than-expected 312,000 jobs in December — the biggest gain in 10 months, the Labor Department said Friday.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate jumped to 3.9 percent — the highest rate since August — as more people felt confident enough to quit their jobs and look for new ones.

Updated at 9:39 a.m. ET Thursday

Apple is cutting billions from its revenue estimates for the just-ended holiday season, citing sharply slower iPhone sales in China.

"While we anticipated some challenges in key emerging markets, we did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration, particularly in Greater China," CEO Tim Cook said Wednesday in a letter to Apple investors.

Updated at 11:51 a.m. ET Wednesday

As the partial government shutdown continues into its second week, President Trump has invited a bipartisan group of top lawmakers to the White House for talks.

Ignoring pressure from President Trump to keep the oil flowing, OPEC, Russia and other producers have agreed to cut production. They pledged to pare output by 1.2 million barrels a day, hoping to stem a sharp drop in oil prices.

The price of crude jumped nearly 4.5 percent Friday morning, to $53.75 per barrel, on word of the agreement, which called for a bigger reduction than analysts had expected.

Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET Friday

The jobless rate remained at a nearly 50-year low of 3.7 percent in November as employers added 155,000 jobs, fewer than in October and less than expected by private analysts.

Meanwhile, wages grew 3.1 percent over the past 12 months, the same rate as in October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Average earnings climbed to $27.35 an hour.

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

U.S. stock markets recovered most of their losses after plunging on reports that a Chinese technology executive was arrested in Canada. The arrest escalated U.S.-China tensions at a time when the two sides vowed to work to ease their trade war.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

In one of the largest cybersecurity breaches in history, Marriott International said Friday that information on up to about 500 million of its customers worldwide was exposed in a breach of its Starwood guest reservation database dating as far back as 2014.

The world's largest hotel chain said it learned of the breach on Sept. 8.

Updated at 4:39 p.m. ET

The economy expanded at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. That's slower than the second quarter's blockbuster 4.2 percent, but it puts the economy on pace for the fastest annual growth in 13 years.

Private analysts had estimated a 3.4 percent growth rate in gross domestic product for the third quarter.

Consumer spending jumped at a 4 percent rate in the July-September quarter — the fastest in about four years and topping the 3.8 percent in the prior three months.

Updated at 10:21 a.m. ET

The U.S. jobless rate dropped to 3.7 percent in September — the lowest since 1969, though the economy added a lower-than-expected 134,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. The jobless rate fell from August's 3.9 percent.

Average earnings rose 8 cents, to $27.24 per hour last month. But wage growth slowed, with average hourly earnings up 2.8 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 2.9 percent increase in August.

The economy has now added jobs for nearly eight straight years.

Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Hours after President Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China responded with its own levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.

Chinese state television on Tuesday reported that the government has decided to impose tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, starting on Monday. The tariffs will apply to 5,207 items.

Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET

President Trump announced Monday that he is ordering 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China.

Trump also threatened to add tariffs on about $267 billion of additional imports if China retaliates against U.S. farmers or other industries.

It's the latest round of an escalating trade dispute between the two countries.

Updated at 4:13 p.m. ET

The traditionally anti-union Tronc newspaper company on Friday agreed to allow journalists at its two Virginia newspapers to organize, averting the need for a federally overseen vote, organizers tell NPR.

A new Apple Watch and software with advanced heart-monitoring capabilities could boost the detection of abnormal heartbeats in millions of people, but it could also raise the chance of false positives, a cardiologist and researcher says.

Apple unveiled three new iPhones, including two with bigger displays, but perhaps the more dramatic announcement from Cupertino, Calif., on Wednesday was its new Apple Watch, with the new health-related tools.

Updated at 6:29 p.m. ET

Twitter on Thursday said it has "permanently suspended" conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his InfoWars outlet, citing "new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy."

Last month, YouTube, Apple, Facebook and Spotify banned Jones' main platforms over concerns about his content. But Twitter only suspended some of his privileges, a move that drew criticism.

Updated at 10:39 a.m. ET, Sept. 1

After days of intense negotiations, the U.S. and Canada failed to agree on a deal by a Friday deadline to update the North American Free Trade Agreement.

But U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said that President Trump notified Congress of his intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico "and Canada, if it is willing – 90 days from now."

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last week that he was considering ending the automaker's 8-year run as a publicly traded company, he indicated that he had found the money to do it.

"Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk tweeted.

Tesla Motors started selling its stock to the public in 2010 — the first initial public offering of a U.S. automaker in more than a half-century. On Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he's considering a reversal — taking the electric car company private.

As he often does, the outspoken entrepreneur took to Twitter to deliver the news. "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk tweeted in early afternoon.

Updated at 9:08 a.m. ET

The economy continued to add jobs at a steady pace last month, and the unemployment rate remained low. Analysts have been looking for signs that wage growth might pick up, but it held steady, too.

Payrolls grew by a lower-than-expected 157,000 in July, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, as projected, the Labor Department said Friday.

Updated at 3:31 p.m. ET

Wells Fargo will pay a $2.09 billion civil penalty over allegations the company originated and sold residential mortgage loans that included misstated income information, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

The bank's actions contributed to the financial crisis, the agency said.

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

A data-sharing scandal and privacy concerns appear to be taking a toll on Facebook.

Its stock dropped nearly 20 percent Thursday — a day after the company released earnings showing that its user growth has stalled and told investors that it expects revenue growth to slow for the rest of the year.

With a loss of more than $100 billion in its value, the social media giant had one of its worst trading days.

Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve got a rare piece of advice from the president Thursday. The central bank is an independent agency and presidents usually don't comment directly on Fed policy.

The days of plastic straws are drawing shorter.

Marriott International on Wednesday became the latest big company to announce it will stop using plastic straws, saying it would remove them from its more than 6,500 properties by next July. The giant hotel chain said it will stop offering plastic stirrers, too.

Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET

The power plays for Hollywood's biggest studios are coming fast and furious.

Comcast on Wednesday made a $65 billion offer for some of the biggest Hollywood holdings of 21st Century Fox, the global television and entertainment conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family. The deal would not include Fox News.

Updated at 12:18 p.m. ET

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday announced a deal with Chinese telecommunications company ZTE that includes a $1 billion fine — a move that may indicate progress in high-stakes trade talks between the U.S. and China.

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