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Helping readers if they’re getting stock market fever
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Helping readers if they’re getting stock market fever

By on Jul 02, 2014

The U.S. stock markets are having a star-spangled week heading into the Independence Day holiday, as Reuters reports in “Dow, S&P end at records in fireworks before the Fourth.” With headlines ablaze about major indices hitting never-before-seen heights, you might want to find some local angles to the Wall Street news. First, it’s always interesting [...]

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Getting punked; getting clarity
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Getting punked; getting clarity

Years ago when I worked in San Diego, I covered a company whose chief executive was truth challenged. So when a fax came across (yes, it was that long ago) claiming that the company had triumphed in a dispute with federal regulators I was suspicious. I called the feds and discovered that the company had [...]

Costly ‘debt repair’ programs don’t make student loans vanish
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Costly ‘debt repair’ programs don’t make student loans vanish

Watching the Weather Channel the other day, hoping for a drop of rain, my ears pricked up at a commercial for the Student Loan Repairman, one of many companies that claims it can stop wage garnishment, “cut loan payments in half” and otherwise ease patrons’ debt burden. With many recent grads confronting the reality of [...]

Midyear opportunities for business journalists
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Midyear opportunities for business journalists

With June 30th, we’ve reached the important mid-year point where you can take stock of myriad yardsticks of performance (this is why your editors wanted you to get your expenses in early). It marks the midpoint in the metrics of many companies that follow the calendar year. It also gives you a chance to see [...]

Does the summer home sales bounce help furniture dealers, related industries?
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Does the summer home sales bounce help furniture dealers, related industries?

With existing home sales for May posting their best gain since 2011, as USA Today reports, and this week’s new home sales report expected to show a modest increase, according to Business Insider, you might want to take a mid-year checkup of the real estate market’s spin-off effect on other lines of business. I was [...]

Quicktips:  Manure expos, funky funerals and travel deals for single parents
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Quicktips: Manure expos, funky funerals and travel deals for single parents

Maybe this column should be called “quirky tips” instead of “quick tips,” because I can’t resist sharing some of the interesting and offbeat jottings from my notebook.  Hopefully you can embrace the oddities and spin an idea or two into a colorful summertime business feature. First off, my ears perked up the other day when [...]

When sources say stupid things
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When sources say stupid things

Friends don’t let friends write drunk, unless one is at the Algonquin Round Table. But what happens when sources say something demonstrably stupid? Do you put in in the paper or online? Let me be clear. First, there is an eternal debate about cleaning up quotes to make them grammatical and keep the speaker from [...]

Fourth of July stories sparkle on any business beat
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Fourth of July stories sparkle on any business beat

Already 2014 is about half over and the Fourth of July holiday is speeding toward us like a runaway locomotive.  It’s the make-it or break-it bellwether for many summer tourism businesses and particularly interesting this year because the Fourth falls on a Friday, making for an automatic three-day-weekend for many workers. According to Orbitz, many [...]

Consumers itch and businesess profit as mosquitos swarm
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Consumers itch and businesess profit as mosquitos swarm

As one of those lucky people generally ignored by stinging and biting insects, it was dismaying a week or two ago to be covered in itchy red welts after just a little while outdoors planting flower pots.  A few days later the graveside rites at a funeral I attended were actually cut short as mourners [...]

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